US Department of defense released a memo on Wednesday telling veterans that “service is never for naught” and advising them of mental health options as the war in Afghanistan comes to a dismal end.
“Remember that what is happening now does not minimize or negate the experiences of all who served overseas,” the memo states. “Talking can be very therapeutic, whether it’s to a local chaplain, psychologist or someone you served within the military. Do what feel right for you. There is not one way to think or feel or act. The important thing is to take advantage of the numerous mental health care resources that are available to you.”
Additionally, the Marine Corps’ top two commanders released a statement addressing any veterans who might be wondering if their sacrifice in Afghanistan was “worth it.”
“We both believe – without question – that your service was meaningful, powerful, and important,” the statement said. “You answered the call to serve, proudly carrying the torch of so many generations of Marines before you.”
“Was it worth it?” the statement added. “Yes. Does it still hurt? Yes.”
Finger-pointing over the botched withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan has accelerated in the nation’s capital, as the White House, the Pentagon and intelligence officials have all sought to direct blame away from themselves.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley on Wednesday took an apparent shot at the intelligence community, which he said never predicted the Taliban could take over the country as rapidly as it did.
Milley’s comments came after leaks to The New York Times and NBC News indicated that intelligence officials had warned the White House and Pentagon that Afghanistan could rapidly collapse.
President Biden had touted the abilities of Afghan troops before the Withdrawal but has since blamed them, as well as a Trump-era peace agreement, for the Taliban’s stunning gain of power over the country.
The Pentagon memo included the following descriptions of mental health resources available for veterans and U.S. service members: