Marine Corps Veteran Kirstie Ennis said the last twenty years of American involvement in Afghanistan was “worth it,” after President Joe Biden finalized the United States’ withdrawal from the country.
“I appreciate everyone that took the time to reach out and check in while I’ve been quiet on here. I didn’t take a lot of what’s been going on in Afghanistan well, at all. I was hateful, bitter, I was mean to people who didn’t deserve it. I was heart broken for the loss of American lives, the ones left behind, and the innocent still living in fear,” Ennis said via Instagram.
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“But…I can only control so much, and I’ve decided to focus on what I can control-advocating to get our citizens and allies out of Afghanistan, caring for the Afghan refugees and their families, supporting the men and women who served, and ensuring I was being honest with myself with how I’m feeling about my time spent in the military, overseas, and my loss.”
“Move. Sweat. Breathe. Keep moving forward. And never forget, as much as it might hurt, the last 20 years was worth it,” Ennis said. “The American and Afghan people were worth it. Better days will come.”
On the day of the Kabul airport suicide bombings that killed thirteen U.S. service members, including eleven Marines, the veteran posted that she was “devastated” by the incident and posted a photo of the U.S. Marine Corps label with the word “unacceptable” across it. (RELATED: ‘Just Showed How Weak We Are’: Marine Veteran Calls Biden’s Afghanistan Withdrawal A ‘Disgrace’)
“I try pretty damn hard to not add to the chaos of social media with opinions, bias, politics, etc. I use my platform to inspire; to be real, raw, and vulnerable; to make impactful connections; to make someone’s day better. That said, when I am loud, I’m not wrong. What took place today is devastating,” she said in an August 26 Instagram post.
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“My thoughts and prayers are with the 11 Marines, Corpsman, and dozens of innocent people who perished in Kabul today. I pray our leadership finds a spine to do what’s right. We rode in on a high horse, we better ride out on one-leaving no man behind.”
Ennis joined the U.S. Marine Corps at the age of 17 in Pensacola, Florida, according to Vantage Point. She served six years and deployed to Afghanistan before a plane crash in 2014 caused her to suffer from severe head and facial trauma, bilateral shoulder damage, cervical and lumbar spine injuries and devastating wounds to her left leg.
The injuries required her to face 40 surgeries and an amputation to the left leg below her knee, the outlet reported. Since her early retirement, she became an athlete to inspire and raise money for people in similar situations as her. In 2017, Ennis climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and the Carstensz Pyramid in Indonesia.
As a result of President Joe Biden’s Afghan withdrawal, all U.S. service members have evacuated Afghanistan. However, it has been reported that at least 100 American citizens remain in the country.