Tuckahoe vet who served in Afghanistan fears Taliban will reclaim liberated area after US withdrawal

News 12 spoke to a veteran from Tuckahoe who was among the first to be deployed to the country following the terrorist attacks on 9/11.

News 12 Staff

Jul 7, 2021, 9:37 PM

Updated 1,082 days ago

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America's longest running war is nearly over, with the U.S. withdrawal 90% complete in Afghanistan.
News 12 spoke to a veteran from Tuckahoe who was among the first to be deployed to the country following the terrorist attacks on 9/11.
He served one year in the Army's 82nd Airborne Division before being deployed later to Iraq.
"We really wanted to help stabilize the government there, allow for freedom and education for all," he says.
After his service and sacrifice, the U.S. - after 20 years - is finally ending its longest war, with a plan to fully withdraw by Sept. 11.
Sgt. Josh Gaccione says the withdrawal is long overdue but worries the Taliban will reclaim territory thousands of U.S. soldiers died liberating.
Nearly 2,400 U.S. military personnel have died during the two decades of war, and thousands more were injured.
Gaccione says with their sacrifice, it's hard to watch the Taliban reclaim territory they fought to free.
"We would really like to see the freedom and the gains that the Afghan people have achieved to continue," says Gaccione.
The Army veteran also would like to see the U.S. fulfill a promise to protect Afghan nationals who worked with U.S. troops during the war.
"Without our interpreters, without our contractors - who were all Afghan nationals - we wouldn't have been able to stabilize ourselves while we were there," he says.
About 18,000 people are awaiting the approval of a special immigrant visa because they are threatened by the Taliban.


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