ST. LOUIS – As the Taliban takes control of Kabul, images surface of more than 600 refugees packing into a U.S. Military Plane.
As the world is watching these images and chaotic videos of Afghanistan residents clinging to a military jet to get out, veterans who were once deployed to Afghanistan are also watching the events unfold.
“How are you doing seeing all this?” Fox 2’s Zara Barker asked Pete Lucier, a United States Marine Corps Veteran who was deployed to Afghanistan.
“Yeah, awful,” he said, fighting back emotions. “You know, it’s been weird.”
It’s not easy for Lucier, watching the Taliban take over Kabul. Lucier served in the USMC from 2008-2013 as an infantry rifleman. He served on a 7-month deployment from 2011 to 2012 in Afghanistan.
“The truth is that the military mission in Afghanistan has been a failure for, like a long time, and there were times when we helped people, there were times when a lot of good was done,” Lucier said.
“I don’t think that not having the Taliban in charge for 20 years was a bad thing. I think it was probably a really good thing for girls to go to school.”
Lucier said he wanted the U.S. military presence to end, but not in the way it unfolded.“Even though I wanted to, like end our military presence there, like not like this, like, this wasn’t supposed to happen like this, like, like, just not this.
It was, this isn’t how it should have gone,” Lucier said. “We spent 20 years there. And didn’t know, I don’t know, I don’t want to say we didn’t achieve anything. But like, what, what did we achieve? Like, what was it for?”
He said as he watched the fall of Kabul from St. Louis, he felt helpless but quickly turned that feeling into helping in any way he can.
“It’s so far away, and things were falling apart so quickly that there weren’t avenues. So I thought, I got to find something I have to find a way to make some difference to be active,” Lucier said.
So he did. He organized a fundraiser for Hearts and Homes for Refugees, a non-profit that helps sponsor families. He said their goal will support three refugee families for three months.