America’s longest war just ended 20 years after it began. Afghanistan became a target of retaliation for the terror attacks of Sept. 11, because the country’s Taliban insurgents granted safe haven to the architect of the attack’s, AlQaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.
Within weeks of the attacks, President George W. Bush launched Operation Enduring Freedom, and deployed 1,300 troops to hunt down Bin Laden.
Over the next two decades, the troop strength swelled to over 100,000 servicemen and women. Almost 2,500 were killed in the struggle. Another 20,000 were wounded, including Army Staff Sgt. Travis Mills, who sacrificed his arms and legs after being blown up by a militant’s improvised explosive device.
In an exclusive interview, he expresses no regrets, but voiced instead pride that he was able to take part in the operation to track down those responsible for 9/11.
While he said it was time for American troops to get out of Afghanistan, he is distressed over the “poor planning to leave.”
A quadriplegic, Mills’ amazing strength, courage and will to live enabled him to become one of only five services members to survive such catastrophic wounds.
Despite the disappointing outcome, Mills maintains it wasn’t all in vain.
“I hope everybody could see the good that we did, building schools, hospitals and digging wells for clean drinking water.”
Travis Mills story is truly a profile in courage. He now runs a non profit foundation to help wounded post 9/11 veterans deal with their scars of war.