LA CROSSE, Wisc. (WLAX) — For Wisconsin veterans who served in Afghanistan, the news and images coming from the region are especially tragic.
“A lot of us have been there we have seen it it could have been us,” veteran Chad Brownell of Madison said. “This situation is the biggest fear for most leaders and most families.”
Bronwell served in Afghanistan in 2006 training members of the Afghan National Army.
“We all have connections to our service in Afghanistan,” he said. “Our prayers go out to the families of the marines who were killed and anyone else who was wounded or killed in that attack.”
Army veteran Jason Church of Menomonie was also left troubled by the attack.
“I look at some of the things makes that have developed, and it makes me sad that the last 20 years has culminated into what we are seeing here,” he said. “I have been involved in IED explosions myself during my time over in Afghanistan.”
Church lost both of his legs in such an explosion.
“Every single time one of those things goes off there, is a lot of carnage and it is a rough sight,” he said.
As the crisis continues to unfold, the U.S. races to evacuate Afghans and American’s by President Joe Biden’s Aug. 31 deadline.
“Seeing the refugees fly into Wisconsin at Fort McCoy is the right thing,” Bronwell said. “These individuals helped us, and once we knew that we were pulling out, it was our obligation to take care of them just like we have done in previous engagements.”
Both Bronwell and Church said they benefit from finding support in their communities. They said now is an important time for people to check in with the veterans in their lives and see how they are doing.