Sergeant Jee Eswar served four tours in Afghanistan from 2004 to 2010. He told ABS-CBN News that recent developments in the conflict-torn country including America's withdrawal after 20 years brought many overwhelming memories to the forefront.
"When I saw the pictures, it actually broke my heart because I remember those workers that I had before. If only I have their contact numbers or email address, I think that the first thing that I would do is contact them to make sure they’re okay," Eswar said.
The FilAm army veteran added that despite some criticisms on how America's departure was executed, he agrees with President Joe Biden's decision. "Having lost some of my friends, who were also service members, I think it is best for the country."
In two decades, 2,461 U.S. service members and civilians died in Afghanistan, while more than 20,000 were injured. They include the 13 soldiers who were killed last week by an ISIS-K suicide bomber. Eswar believes that their sacrifices and efforts were not in vain.
"The world cannot see that because the world didn't go to Afghanistan. They didn’t see what was going on down in that country," Eswar said. "But for some of us, who were fortunate enough and blessed enough to be able to be part of the deployment to that country, I think we made some changes. But sometimes you have to let go and let the people take care of themselves."
However, Eswar, like many others who served, still feels a big sense of responsibility to help the people of Afghanistan. "If I can do something to help them go here and be able to save their lives and their family, I will definitely go in a heartbeat. If I can go to Afghanistan right now, I'll do it in a heartbeat."