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CEDAR RAPIDS — Two members of Iowa’s congressional delegation are leading an effort to honor American military members who served in Afghanistan.
Republicans Rep. Ashley Hinson and Sen. Joni Ernst are asking the House and Senate, respectively, to recognize the men and women who served in Afghanistan over the past 20 years, saying in a House concurrent resolution that “the peace our country experienced is a direct result of the actions of our brave members of the armed forces, diplomats and humanitarians.”
Despite the chaotic end of operations, their resolution says their service “is something to be remembered, lauded and honored.”
“Amid the horrible chaos that has ensued in Afghanistan, there is one certainty: America is safer because of those who bravely answered the call to serve and protected our nation from terrorist threats over the last twenty years,” said Hinson, who represents Iowa’s 1st District. “I hope that every veteran knows that, to Iowans, they are heroes, and nothing will ever diminish their service or sacrifice.”
Ernst, the first female combat veteran elected to the U.S. Senate after she served more than two decades in the military, said she understands “so many fellow veterans who are hurting out there as they see the horrific images that have come out of the disastrous exit from Afghanistan.”
“I’ve heard from a number of them personally,” Ernst said. “I want them to know that America is grateful for their service, that I am grateful for their service. We must never forget their sacrifice.”
The Veterans Crisis Line has seen a sharp uptick in calls since the Taliban took control of Kabul, the Afghan capital, in mid-August, a sign that veterans experienced significant stress as the war in Afghanistan came to a close, according to military.com. The Department of Veterans Affairs says the increase means former service members are seeking help, which it takes as an encouraging trend that may be the result of a concerted effort to eliminate any stigma associated with mental health treatment.
In the House, resolutions are brought up at the discretion of leadership.
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