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HomeVeterans AdministrationVeterans deliver emotional, scathing testimony about 'disastrous' Afghanistan withdrawal

Veterans deliver emotional, scathing testimony about ‘disastrous’ Afghanistan withdrawal

WASHINGTON — A Marine sergeant who was nearly killed in the deadly terrorist attack during the chaotic 2021 withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan gave powerful, emotional testimony to the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday as Republicans kicked off their first hearing on the subject since winning back the majority.
“I opened my eyes to Marines dead or unconscious lying around me. … My body was overwhelmed from the trauma of the blast. My abdomen had been ripped open, every inch of my exposed body except for my face took ball bearings and shrapnel,” said Marine Sgt. Tyler Vargas-Andrews, 25, who choked up and spent several minutes trying to compose himself as he recounted the bombing at the Kabul airport’s Abbey Gate on Aug. 26, 2021.
Thirteen U.S. service members were killed in the blast, which also claimed the lives of another 170 Afghan civilians.
Vargas-Andrews, whose sniper team was assisting the evacuation at the airport, was one of 45 U.S. service members injured that day. He lost multiple organs and two limbs, and he has had 44 operations since.
“Our military members and veterans deserve our best because that is what we give to America. The withdrawal was a catastrophe in my opinion, and there was an inexcusable lack of accountability and negligence,



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