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Eugene Lawmaker Who Served In Afghanistan Reflects On Current Situation

Rachael McDonald

A state lawmaker from Eugene who served in Afghanistan describes the events unfolding there as “heartbreaking.”


Rep. Marty Wilde, a Democrat, serves with the Air National Guard, although he says his views on Afghanistan are his own and not meant to represent the Department of Defense.


In 2011, Wilde spent six months in Afghanistan and helped with the U.S. military’s effort to establish a functioning central government. He said even ten years ago, there were plenty of red flags that the mission was destined to fail. 

“It doesn’t really matter how many troops, or how much money you spend, if the government’s not going to be worthy of the people, if it’s not going to earn their support," he said. "And it never did.” 

He says the chaos that followed the U.S. military withdrawal has been difficult to watch.

“If you have veterans in your life, it’s a hard time for all of us who served there,” he said. "Reach out to folks and tell them you're thinking about them."

Wilde encourages Oregonians who want to help to reach out to organizations that work to resettle refugees, including the Refugee Resettlement Coalition of Lane County.


Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
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