Tester, Moran Address Veterans of Afghanistan and Their Families Following Completed U.S. Military Withdrawal

Senators: “Our country is better off because of who you are, what you have done, and what you will do”

Following the United States military’s withdrawal from Afghanistan earlier this week, Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Ranking Member Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) expressed their unyielding support and gratitude in a bipartisan letter to veterans of Afghanistan and their families.

“Over the past two decades, you, your fellow servicemembers, and your families have sacrificed greatly while fulfilling your mission in Afghanistan,” wrote the Senators. “As our hearts ache for the future of the Afghan people and for our Afghan allies, we will work to see that this war is ended responsibly. As Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, we want each of you to know that you not only have our support, but also our admiration and confidence for what you have achieved and what you will go on to achieve for our country.”

In their letter, Senators Tester and Moran highlighted the U.S. military’s achievements over the course of the War on Terror, from ousting the Taliban from power, eliminating the threat from al-Qaeda, and bringing Osama bin Laden to justice. They went on to thank them for their ongoing efforts with past and present Congresses and Presidential administrations to ensure Afghan partners who worked and fought alongside U.S. forces are not left behind.

The Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee leaders also encouraged veterans and their families to reach out to fellow veterans and seek life-saving Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) mental health resources if and when they are in need. Tester and Moran reaffirmed their commitment to work with the Department to meet the emerging needs of veterans who served and sacrificed in Afghanistan.

They continued, “We are dedicated to ensuring you, and all veterans, have the right tools and resources to be successful after your service, and we will continue to push the Department of Veterans Affairs to match its services to the emerging needs of those of you who served in Afghanistan. We ask each of you to keep serving in any way you can. Our country is better off because of who you are, what you have done, and what you will do.”

The United States’ two-decade military mission in Afghanistan officially ended on Monday, August 30.

Read the Senators’ full letter HERE.

For veterans in need during this difficult time, please call the VA crisis line at 1-800-273-8255 (press 1) or text 838255, visit local Vet centers, or access any of VA’s mental health services online at www.MentalHealth.va.gov