End of an Era

August 16, 2021 marks the end of two decades of our involvement in the war in Afghanistan—if it’s ever really possible to mark the end of a war.

The roots of the National Veterans Foundation are in the aftermath of the Vietnam War. The great sadness settling on us feels all too familiar to Veterans of the Vietnam era. That was also an unwinnable war fought at great cost. Those Veterans are at renewed risk today as the wounds of their combat and their coming home are reopened.

Veterans of the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have to be experiencing many of the same feelings Vietnam Veterans had and continue to have. Our crisis and information hotline, the Lifeline for Vets is here for you at 888.777.4443. It’s Vet-to-Vet. It always has been.

It’s hard to match the level of understanding that we Veterans share. Take care of yourselves and each other. I encourage all Veterans to reach out to each other. Buddies probably first, but also Veterans of other eras, from Korea forward to Iraq and Afghanistan. Here at the National Veterans Foundation, we know firsthand what it means to serve, and we honor the courage, dedication and commitment all Veterans have made to this nation.

Here, for all Veterans and their families, is our Lifeline for Vets: 888.777.4443

Shad Meshad

As a U.S. Army Medical Service Officer in Vietnam in 1970, Shad Meshad began pioneering treatment techniques for what would later become known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He is the founder of the National Veterans Foundation and founder and co-author of the VA’s Vet Center Program.


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Paratroopers assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division prepare to board a U.S. Air Force C-17 on August 30th, 2021 at the Hamid Karzai International Airport. Maj. Gen. Donahue was the last American Soldier to leave Afghanistan ending the U.S. mission in Kabul. (U.S. Army photo by Master Sgt. Alexander Burnett, 82nd Airborne Public Affairs).

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The worst part of war should not be coming home.