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Local veteran reacts to Afghanistan collapse

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Tom Harness reacts

CARTERVILLE (WSIL)-- Tom Harness served in the U.S Army from 1992 to 1996.

As Afghanistan's civil government collapses, Harness said his years in service give him mixed emotions on the situation.

"On the one point, you have soldiers who have been overseas for two decades, and you obviously hope that everybody returns home. But on the second part of that you have a lot of lives lost over there on a mission, and that mission was partly to secure safety for hundreds of thousands of people living there," he said.

John Shaw, Director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute said things are about get worse for the civilians living in Afghanistan.

"Once the U.S. left decisively, the entire effort imploded, and millions of Afghans are about to go through a horrific, horrific experience," Shaw added.

Harness does not agree with the way the U.S. military pulled out of Afghanistan.

He said soldiers want to leave a place better than they found it.

"You can see that the stability that is being left is chaos. And that's not how, when we go in as military, we wanna leave it. And I think we've done a travesty in that aspect of the citizens that live there," said Harness.

As people attempt to flee the country, Harness said the soldiers will also feel conflicted, as returning home means leaving those unprotected after decades of service.

"As many of them can't wait to see their family, their friends, but I know that it's probably gonna tug at their hearts knowing what their leaving that country in. And that's gonna be hard for a lot of people to connect with. I understand that," said Harness.

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