NORFOLK, Va. - U.S. service members were tragically killed and injured in a suicide attack outside of the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday. Rep. Elaine Luria called it a devastating day.
"Today has been a tragic loss. Anytime we lose a service member overseas, it’s a tragic loss to them, their family, children and our country. The evacuation that’s going on is very dangerous. It’s changing hour by hour. There still exists the real chance of threat from future terrorist attacks," Rep. Luria said.
The White House estimates the U.S. has evacuated 82,300 people on flights from Kabul since August 14.
"This is a mission that’s very important - that we get American citizens, our allies and those Afghans who supported us over 20 years out and get them to safety. We need to get out as many people as we can," Luria said.
A Norfolk veteran who served in the military for 20 years, Luria believes things in Afghanistan will change once U.S. troops evacuate by the August 31 deadline.
"They got a taste of freedom over there because we been there 20 years. They all want out of there now because they tasted freedom. They’re [the Taliban] going to try to send them people back to the Stone Age," said Kenneth Denardo, a veteran who also served 20 years in military.
Another local veteran says he believes it’s time to get troops back home.
"It shouldn’t have lasted that long," said George Baker.
President Biden’s deadline to withdraw troops from Afghanistan is less than a week away.