With the last of the U.S. military now out of Afghanistan, one Raccoon Valley Radio employee shares his thoughts having served in that same country.

Dallas County News Director Dustin Teays served in the U.S. Army Reserves with the 402nd Engineering Company at Fort Des Moines. Following his basic training, Teays was deployed to Afghanistan on Christmas Day in 2012 for nine months. While he was in Afghanistan, Teays worked clearing routes of explosives for coalition forces to use. Teays says he was seven years old when 9/11 happened and he didn’t think that 11-12 years later he would be deployed to the same area that the U.S. military had been in since 2001. 

Teays shares his thoughts when the last of the American troops were pulled out of Afghanistan.

“It’s kind of a mixed bag of feelings knowing that everyone’s gone, which is a good feeling, but kind of at what cost did we pay to get everyone out of Afghanistan.”

Teays talks about his reaction to seeing the Taliban take a lot of the country back over in a very quick time period after the drawdown of troops had started.

“It’s kind of a hard thing to watch because you’re sitting there thinking about, ‘Okay well I went and did this, and I have friends who went and did this.’ We were all doing it to protect ourselves, protect the Afghans in a way, and then you kind of see that all fall apart in the course of really a day. Then you start to question, ‘Well, what did we accomplish what did we accomplish while we were over there.”

The announcement that the last of the troops has left Afghanistan was by August 31st.