Inslee statement on end of military presence in Afghanistan

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"The last U.S. personnel departed Afghanistan yesterday, ending our 20-year engagement there. However people feel about this moment, what should resonate and unify us is our respect for the American men and women who gave Afghanistan two decades of opportunity.

"We can all recognize the decision by the president to end this war was both necessary and hard. I share the view that more grueling tours of duty in a place where we have already lost so many lives does not serve our country’s interests.

“This much is true: President Biden’s evacuation response was the largest and most remarkable airlift in our history. It helped over 120,000 U.S. citizens, citizens of our allies and Afghan allies leave. It was a perilous mission where U.S. troops put their lives in harm's way yet again to bring these individuals to safety. The extraordinary dedication of everyone who made this feat possible – and the memory of the 13 U.S. Marines and Sailors who were killed protecting it – will not be forgotten.

"Washington state is ready to do its part of the hard work ahead. We will care for our veterans and their families, who bear the wounds, seen and unseen, of this war. We must protect and strengthen our democracy here at home. And we must welcome and support the Afghan evacuees who are becoming a part of our community.

"I have been heartened to see the outpouring of support from Washingtonians seeking to help our Afghan friends who are resettling here. Our state, as always, will welcome immigrants and refugees from all corners of the globe, and we look forward to receiving more of our partners from Afghanistan in the coming weeks and months."

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