As terrified and desperate Afghanis plummeted to their deaths from the wings of U.S. transport aircraft last week in the early hours of Joe Biden’s Afghanistan horror show, it bears remembering that some of those young American soldiers who died securing that lawless country in the War on Terror – prior to Biden’s abandonment of it – were Kansans.
In these days of disgust at the rank stupidity with which Biden and his administration of incompetents has treated American security and its utter disregard for Afghan humanity, those Kansans’ names should be known – so that we’re reminded of both our state’s sacrifice in keeping our nation secure and the pain we’re forced to share in Biden’s second humanitarian disaster in less than a year in office.
Lost to that sacrifice is Vinson Adkinson of Harper, Cody Baker of Holton, Thomas Bohall of Wichita, David Carter of Hays, Jeremiah Cole of Hiawatha…
Others have sacrificed as well; those who left limbs and eyes and parts of their bodies and minds amid the sands and swirling dust and heat of this long conflict; returning thankfully with their lives, but forever changed.
…Daniel Cox of Parsons, Bernard Deghand of Mayetta, Richard DeWater of Topeka, Spencer Duncan of Olathe, David Hall of Uniontown, Zachary Hargrove of Wichita, Tyler Juden of Winfield…
Their honor was well earned, right up to the point that their work was undone by an ideology which should never have come to power in our country; one which elected a presidential candidate known to lack mental acuity and to prefer ridiculous “equity” criteria over competence and ability in his subordinates. The U.S. had experienced no combat-related casualties in Afghanistan for some 18 months, and for years prior to that combat deaths and injuries had been slight. President Trump, who also initially sought to abandon Afghanistan but later listened to counsel and thought better of it, as did President Obama before him, had established an equilibrium with a small contingency of military and mightier strike power just a phone call away to protect the problematically still fragile and corrupt government structure.
…Michael Knapp of Overland Park, Jamie Maugans of Derby, Erik May of Independence, Jason McMahon of Mulvane, Jeffery Mersman of Parker, Cale Miller of Overland Park…
Now, we see what the lack of that equilibrium brings – a return to the unabated petri dish for terrorism which can, and has already, reached U.S. shores, as the corpses of some 3,000 people in the Sept. 11, 2001, attack reflects. We see the hanging, lifeless bodies of Afghanis who assisted U.S. and allied forces. We see scenes of melee at the Hamid Karzai Airport as thousands try to escape the new age of barbarism of the Taliban. We see a quick replacement of two decades of womens’ rights in the country with now painted-out women’s images on commercial billboards and a return to burkas and the full scale cultural endorsement of brutality against them. And, it’s only been a few days.
…Thomas Moffitt of Wichita, William Mulvihill of Leavenworth, Eric Nettleton of Wichita, Bryan Nichols of Hays, Justin Officer of Wichita, Trenton Rhea of Oakley, Forrest Robertson of Westmorland, Aaron Smith of Manhattan.
It’s unknown at this point whether even his benefactors in the liberal mainstream press can salvage Biden from this disaster of historic proportions. Like the scenes of bodies leaping from the burning twin towers on 9/11, the images of Afghanis clinging to the outside of moving aircraft and hurtling earthward to their deaths, all that they might escape life under the Taliban, is now branded into the world psyche. Our nation’s humiliation at Joe Biden’s hands is complete and damning; and because we elected him, it is deserved.
The names of those who perished while protecting us, so far from the fields and sunsets of Kansas, will never wear that stain. Instead, their sense of purpose and duty drives us forward. At Gettysburg, President Lincoln warned us not to try to consecrate ground already hallowed by the lives and sacrifices of those who came before, but instead to aim our efforts at work yet to be done:
“It is for us, the living, rather, to be dedicated to the unfinished work which they who fought here, have, thus far, so nobly advanced.”
Dane Hicks is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and the United States Marine Corps Officer Candidate School at Quantico, VA. He is the author of novels "The Skinning Tree" and "A Whisper For Help." As publisher of the Anderson County Review in Garnett, KS., he is a recipient of the Kansas Press Association's Boyd Community Service Award as well as more than 60 awards for excellence in news, editorial and photography.