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Phoenix veteran says time in Afghanistan 'absolutely' worth it

Joe Reagan
Posted at 9:39 PM, Aug 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-24 00:39:26-04

PHOENIX — Was it worth it? It's a question asked by many after the Taliban gained control of Kabul, Afghanistan.

Joseph Reagan, the Director of Military and Veterans Outreach for Wreaths Across America, was asking himself the same thing. He decided to put his thoughts into words earlier as he planned to publish the piece for the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks on America.

Reagan first stepped foot on Afghan soil as an infantry platoon leader in 2006. After another tour and 15 later years, he said it still feels like yesterday.

"We saw the day-to-day successes. We experienced our fair share of setbacks, but every time we tried to come back and move the ball just a little bit forward," he said.

But after grappling with the question so many have asked, was it worth the sacrifice, Reagan with confidence can say yes.

"Having spoken to privates up to generals, they all said the same thing. We were able to make progress there. Those that served there should focus on those things," he said.

But he knows he can't answer that question for the many military families he works with who lost a loved one. But tells them their efforts were not in vain.

"Everyone that served alongside your loved one, every day that goes by they draw strength and inspiration from your loved ones," he said.

It was a sacrifice so many have opinions on, but so few were willing to make.

"Less than one percent of the American population stood up and volunteered to support the War on Terror. That’s a tremendous weight to put on such a small portion of the population," he said.