Our team has spent the last few weeks reaching out to the more than 300 veterans receiving care through our Health & Wellness program and we will continue in this on-going effort as the situation in Afghanistan continues to unfold. Some interactions are brief while others are more time and effort intensive, resulting in multiple hours on the phone.

Here’s what several of the veterans we talked with this week shared:

“Half of our lives, we have been involved in these two wars, whether serving in one or both, being at the ready to go wherever for so long, knowing and loving people who were there, knowing the cost of what service means and our collective ability to find humanity and smiles and friendship in the places we are fighting an enemy. It’s complex and overwhelming, but it’s important. Our hearts are in it regardless of where we were because we wore the same cloth. We ache for the decisions they had and will have to make. We ache knowing how tough it will be for them to come home. We ache for the people there that will die or go back to all the oppression and madness. We are grieving and loving and mourning and frightened and anxious and depressed and triggered. At least that is what it feels like.”

“When I looked inside, all I found was gratitude for the men that have shaped my life. We did good and bad things over there for better or worse but we all (for the most part) had very noble intentions and did our best to do the most good we could.”

“I wish I was there. I suck at being helpless.” 

“I cannot imagine the people that literally gave so much more than me to secure that place and it fell in a weekend. Just wild. If I feel it in my chest, I can’t imagine what they feeL”

“Thanks for checking in, I’m so saddened by how this situation is unfolding. Freedom is never free and my heart breaks to think of all my friends and others who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Regardless, I know our service is never in vain as I process the recent events.”

“Thank you! I’m actually doing great thanks to y’alls support. Much love to you and your team. If it weren’t for Boot Campaign, I wouldn’t be where I am now –  living out a purpose post-service. That’s the truth.”

It’s the collective caring for one another that makes us human.

One thing all of us at Boot Campaign want veterans to hear: You matter, your service and sacrifice matters and it will not be forgotten, not now and not ever…and we will continue providing individualized care for as many as we can for as long as it takes.

Help us continue to make life-changing care possible for veterans who served in Afghanistan or any era. When you sign up as a recurring donor, you are helping us increase our capacity and deliver high-quality, individualized and life-improving programs to veterans and military families. To donate, click here.