Monday, August 30, 2021 marked the end of the US war with Afghanistan after 20 years. The Department of Defense revealed the last US soldier to leave Kabul was General Chris Donahue.
Four days after the series of suicide bombings at Kabul Airport on August 26, which resulted in the mourning of 13 troops, the United States left Afghanistan on August 30th, 2021. It concluded their 20-year conflict that commenced in October 2001.
The names of the 13 deceased soldiers were revealed to the world 24 hours after the attack and now, a new name is dominating headlines: Chris Donahue.
Green-tinted General is the face of US departure
The completed Afghan evacuation was confirmed by General Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr. during the evening of August 30, 2021 through a series of tweeted videos by The Pentagon.
Shortly after, a night-vision image of General Chris Donahue was tweeted, recognising him as the last troop to board the aircraft before liftoff.
Meet Chris Donahue
Born August 13, 1969 as Christopher Todd Donahue, the 52-year-old currently serves as the commanding general of the 82nd Airborne Division, based in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
The division specialises in parachute assault operations, where troops are required to respond to actions within 18 hours in denied areas.
Christopher headed Operation Allies Refuge in August to airlift US embassy employees and at-risk Afghan civilians.
His military career spans 30-years after becoming a Second lieutenant in 1992, after graduating from the United States Military Academy in New York. Chris’ experiences have led him across the globe when he was first deployed to South Korea as rifle platoon leader, rifle company commander in Panama and several operations in Iraq and Syria.
The general’s career progressed as he assumed the roles of squadron operations officer, troop commander and unit commander. He completed his master’s degree from the Naval War College and a Army War College Fellowship in 2013 at Harvard University.
Having so many positions under his belt, being commander of the 82nd Airborne Division is his highlight, he tells The Fayetteville Observer.
“It is absolutely the most enjoyable, rewarding and best job I’ve ever had, hands down,” he said. “I’ve had some pretty cool jobs, but I tell you this is the coolest job ever.”
President Biden released his statement two hours before the heavily-retweeted image of General Donahue, promising to address the nation on Tuesday (August 31) afternoon.
After the bombing, civilians criticised the government for continuing to push for the August 30 deadline and Biden briefly summarised the reasoning as the best decision to protect US troops and the futures of incoming Afghan refugees.
The statement concluded with the names of the 13 members who lost theior lives days before their path out:
- Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Darin T. Hoover
- Marine Corps Sgt. Johanny Rosariopichardo
- Marine Corps Sgt. Nicole L. Gee,
- Marine Corps Cpl. Hunter Lopez,
- Marine Corps Cpl. Daegan W. Page
- Marine Corps Cpl. Humberto A. Sanchez
- Marine Corps Lance Cpl. David L. Espinoza
- Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jared M. Schmitz
- Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Rylee J. McCollum
- Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Dylan R. Merola
- Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui
- Navy Hospitalman Maxton W. Soviak
- Army Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss
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