‘I know my son didn’t die in vain’: Western New Yorkers react to Taliban takeover

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The shocking pictures and videos from the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan have Western New York veterans feeling frustrated. Some say they are not surprised.

Andrew Davis retired from a 15-year Army career in 2020. He says because the United States was such a big supporter of the Afghan government, the collapse was “almost inevitable” once our troops left. Since members of the Taliban live among the rest of the population, Davis says it would have made sense for the United States to stay there to prevent new terrorists from being trained.

Davis says he fears for those still living in Afghanistan.

“They wanted a better life, you know? Their army served and they were fighting the Taliban until we withdrew all support. So, at least these people who served alongside us deserve a chance at a better life somewhere else if their own country won’t fight for it,” said Davis.

Army Lieutenant Colonel Patrick Miller says the takeover is heartbreaking but added the work the troops did there did not go to waste. He says they were able to bring hope to those who live there.

“There was a lot of good that we did there. There was a lot of good that happened there and a lot of sacrifices were made by young Americans,” said Miller.

Kim and Bill Wilson lost their son Billy in 2012 while he was serving overseas. They say his work was noble, but this is hard for them to watch.

“I know my son didn’t die in vain,” said Kim Wilson. “I know he didn’t, but it just kind of hurts to watch the news and see what’s going on. And we’re weeks away from the anniversary of 9/11.”

Those we spoke with say this is an emotional time. The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs has tips for those seeking help. Click here for that list.

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