August 20, 2021

Nebraska veterans, Gold Star families grapple with how Afghanistan War is ending

Source: Omaha World-Herald

Journalist: Steve Liewer

Barb Yllescas-Vorthmann cried tears of grief a dozen years ago when a bomb on a bridge in a remote corner of Afghanistan fatally wounded her son, Capt. Rob Yllescas. He left behind a widow and two young daughters in Lincoln.

She cried again this week as she watched images of the people her son tried to help fleeing the advance of the brutal Taliban after the U.S. and its NATO allies withdrew from the country.

This time, she cried tears of anger, frustration and fear.

“How can we leave families behind there?” said Yllescas-Vorthmann, of Treynor, Iowa, who leads the Gold Star families chapter in Nebraska and western Iowa. “It’s hard to watch, but I feel like I have to. I can’t help it; I feel their pain.”

Read the full story and more from Omaha World-Herald.


  • Christopher D. Kolenda

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    Christopher D. Kolenda, Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security, is the Founder of the Strategic Leaders Academy and helps solo practitioners and small...