This past June, I visited the graves of two of my former Green Berets, Jason McDonald and Scott Studenmund. Both interred at Arlington National Cemetery, and both killed on June 9, 2014 in the largest friendly fratricide incident in the history of our war in Afghanistan. As I soberly walked out of Section 60, known as the “saddest acre in America” and where most of our service members killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan are buried, I reflected on their efforts and sacrifices, and those of other service members that lie nearby, and how these sacrifices, as tragic as they are, were not made in vain.
Unfortunately, after watching tragedy unfold in Kabul—and more importantly, witnessing the shameful words and actions of the current administration’s highest-level officials over the last few weeks, I have been forced to reevaluate my sentiments and question the intentions and competency of the people we entrust to make national security decisions and deploy our military with honor.
As both a Ranger School student and later as a Special Forces Qualification Course candidate, I distinctly remember my peers and I being relentlessly questioned about contingency plans by our instructors. “Captain, what is your contingency