10 years in Afghanistan - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

10 years in Afghanistan

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

Today marks 10 years since the war in Afghanistan began.

The US and its allies invaded Afghanistan on October 7th, 2001 in response to the 9/11 terror attacks.

It was ten years ago today, just weeks after 9/11 that the US began sending it's military to begin strikes against the terrorist camps in Afghanistan.

A time Lt. Col. Dave Simons of the 165th Airlift Wing of the Georgia Air National Guard remembers quite vividly.

"At that point in time in 2011 most Americans we were ready to go," said Simons. I remember my friends as retirees wanting to put back on the uniform and wanting to go and fight for their country."

After 10 years of service, struggle and sacrifice, America has seen the costs of war. Nearly 18,000 have died there. Today, about 100,000 US troops are still fighting

"Since then, the 165th Airlift Wing of Ga. National Guard has flown thousands of missions," said Simons. "A good 70 percent of the unit has deployed one time or another. Most of us are on our third and fourth deployments."

The 165th has played a vital role in the success of the United States.

"It's been an interesting time," said Simons. "It's put our National Guard on the forefront of our national defense. They couldn't do it without the men and women of 165th Air Wing who are proud to serve our country."

In the past decade, Taliban leaders have been forced out of power and Osama Bin Laden has been killed, but the job in Afghanistan is not done yet.

"The transition of letting the Afghan military and police do their jobs is at the forefront of our best interest, to make sure they have all the resources they need to effectively do that," LTC Simons.

Simons says he is ready to keep fighting the war now 10 years old, hoping an end is drawing near.

"I don't want my grandchildren being there in 20 years," said Simons.

The Pentagon plans to take 10,000 troops out of Afghanistan by the end of 2011.

A complete withdrawal will not happen for at least three more years.

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