The world is watching as the Taliban takes over the capital of Afghanistan. We watch in disbelief. We watch with some despair.

As a Mainer, I watch and think of all of the Maine veterans who were deployed in Afghanistan, and I can't help but think of the frustration and sadness that these Mainers feel.

Our veterans and active military in Afghanistan and stateside had a mission set by the U.S. Military and we are watching 20 years of efforts and sacrifices become dissolved.

I also think of past veterans of Maine who share this pain and frustration with their brothers and sisters of the military.

I think of the families who lived without a parent for an incomprehensible amount of time, missing family dinners, baseball games, and other experiences that build a family, a childhood for those children back home in the states. That sacrifice was for the mission of protection for a more peaceful homeland, world.

We Mainers are saddened by these circumstances and are thinking of our veterans and active military at this time, whether you walked the roads of Kabul, served another war, worked stateside, or even fought another war.

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We extend our compassion and appreciation for all of your efforts even if this mission of a decades-long war has come to this. Know that we support and love you and are grateful for the sacrifices you and your family have made, the courage you have shown, the sadness you endure, the stress you live with. This is on the Maine civilian's mind and it needs to be put out there.

If you are a Maine veteran you know needs support right now, please contact the Maine Military Assistance Hotline at 1-888-365-9287. Veterans can also call the VA's Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255, and press #1; send a text to 838255; or visit http://veteranscrisisline.net/.

Please keep yourself safe and know you still have a community of Mainers here to support you and your family.

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