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Letters to the Editor: Why there is no disgrace in defeat for America’s Afghanistan veterans

U.S. soldiers stand guard behind a razor wire fence as Afghans wanting to leave the country gather outside Kabul's airport
U.S. soldiers stand guard as Afghans attempting to leave the country gather outside Kabul’s airport on Aug. 20.
(Wakil Koshar / AFP/Getty Images)

To the editor: Marines who served in Afghanistan are “frustrated,” “angry” and “talking,” according to your report from a city adjacent to Camp Pendleton. They have put their lives on the line and lost friends in an attempt to keep that nation out of the hands of the Taliban.

This is the same frustration for many of those who fought beside me in the failed effort to keep Vietnam free from communism.

What we need to realize is that there is no disgrace for us in defeat. We took an oath to the Constitution. Loyalty to that oath has helped preserve the right of Americans and others to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for more than 200 years.

The outcome of events in Afghanistan may represent a defeat of the political objectives of four presidents. It is not, however, a defeat of the will of American men and women to put their lives on the line because they trust the value of the system to which they have sworn fidelity.

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The preservation of that system has always depended on loyalty to that oath, and it always will.

Stephen Sloane, Lomita

The writer is a retired captain in the U.S. Navy.

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To the editor: I respect President Biden. I voted for him and was satisfied with his leadership until the debacle in Afghanistan. It’s time for him to address Congress and say the following:

“I want you to know how sorry I am about the injuries, deaths and violence in Afghanistan. I should have taken a slower approach to withdrawing our troops from this country, and I am truly sorry for the damage I have caused.

“I also apologize to the thousands of veterans who worked so diligently to improve the lives of the Afghan people. This happened on my watch, and I am responsible. I will endeavor to get all Americans and Afghans out of the country as quickly as possible and provide them the support they need.”

Ellen Faulk, Los Angeles

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To the editor: As a veteran, I am heartbroken by what is going on in Afghanistan.

I want to say to those who lost a love one that they gave the Afghan people a taste of freedom for close to 20 years. I, for one, will never forget their sacrifice.

Daniel Ayala, El Monte


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