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Anniversaries can be rough for our community and this, the first since we left Afghanistan, may be rougher than usual. This is especially true for our brothers and sisters who served in Afghanistan in the past 21 years and for the families of those who we lost. It's important for you who were there to know that what you did MATTERED and continues to do so.

There are people alive right now because of what you did. Many are here in our country, now THEIR country. Most because you and others like you busted your asses and risked life, limb and sometimes your futures to get them here. THAT is not a waste.

In Afghanistan, mothers and fathers are telling stories to their children about the men and women who came and helped them. They're telling their kids about freedom and education and being able to make choices they never would have had but for you all. They may be whispering those stories in the dark or around a fire but they are still TELLING them. And some of those children may one day fan that small blaze into a firestorm and take back what you were able to give them, if only for a while. That is NOT a waste. Not now, not ever.


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