The Republican National Committee (RNC) released the third part of a video-series, entitled “Not in Vain,” featuring Republican leaders in Congress who served in Afghanistan. The latest in the series features conversations with our nation’s heroes to discuss their first-hand accounts from Afghanistan, the importance of celebrating our veterans, and how we should never forget the sacrifices made for freedom. Watch part I and part II of the series, which have been praised as “powerful” and a “must watch.”

“Hearing veterans share their firsthand accounts gives every American a small glimpse of what it means to serve,” said RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel. “Following Joe Biden’s catastrophe in Afghanistan, ensuring our veterans know that their service was not in vain is more important now than ever before. Veterans and active service members alike need to know Americans will always amplify stories of service and commemorate the sacrifices made by members of our military.”   

Members of Congress in the series include Rep. Tony Gonzales, Navy Master Chief Petty Officer (Ret.); Rep. Michael Waltz, Green Beret (Ret.) and Army National Guard Colonel; Rep. Brian Mast, Army Staff Sergeant (Ret.), Rep. Ronny Jackson, Navy Rear Admiral (Ret.), and Rep. Jake Ellzey, Navy Commander (Ret.).

“Afghanistan isn’t a country on a map for many of us. Many of us grew up there and it’s part of us. It’ll always be part of us. When you’re in the trenches with somebody, I mean, there’s nothing like it. You know, race, religion, ethnicity, sex, none of that matters. All that matters is you are an American and you’re there fighting for America. That’s what people forget. That’s what Joe Biden forgets. It is all about America.”  – Rep. Tony Gonzales, Navy Master Chief Petty Officer (Ret.)
“So what I had was what’s called a night letter. And these are threats that the Taliban and al-Qaeda tend to give to those who they don’t like or want to take action against. The one I was holding up was a night letter delivered by the Taliban in the dead of the night to a school principal telling them to get out of town or else. His crime? Teaching girls. That he was running a girl’s school in the Hinterlands of Afghanistan for girls and families. He resisted. He fought back. And in response, they killed his brother and then they killed his cousin and burnt down the school.” – Rep. Michael Waltz, Green Beret (Ret.) and Army National Guard Colonel

“When I was blown up, I can remember the flash of light and I can remember tumbling through the air. And I can remember hearing. I still had my earpiece in my ear after I was blown up. And I could remember the other guys that I was with radioing up my call sign saying EOD is hit, EOD is down. The most painful thing that they put me through, which was putting tourniquets on what was left of each one of my legs and what was left of my left arm, which was probably the most painful thing I can probably ever go through, when they were wrenching those down to keep me from bleeding out on the battlefield.”– Rep. Brian Mast, Army Staff Sergeant (Ret.)
“I was a physician working mostly on the medical side. For Joe Biden to blame it on the Afghan forces saying they don’t have the will to fight and they’re not warriors. You heard just the opposite. If you talk to the special forces community that worked with these Afghan fighters over there, they’ll tell you that they are some of the most fearless, brave people that are out there. –Rep. Ronny Jackson, Navy Rear Admiral (Ret.)

“We were in Bagram as well as Kabul, and we had done a great job of protecting civilians and delivering strikes to eradicate the Taliban and al-Qaeda. I leave it up to historians and political scientists to determine how long this war should have gone. But we did our duty over there. We were proud to do it, as all veterans of Afghanistan should be proud of.” – Rep. Jake Ellzey, Navy Commander (Ret.).



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