Veteran Who Lost Both Legs in Afghanistan Says it was 'For Nothing' | 22 Words

A British Veteran who lost both legs while on duty in Afghanistan has spoken out after the collapse of the Afghan regime.

Western forces occupied Afghanistan for twenty years, but in as little as a week the Taliban took over the capital Kabul after American and British troops were evacuated from the country.

A total of 457 British and 2,448 American lives were lost in this time, as well as £22billion, ($30 billion) spent by Britain to overthrow insurgents.

The events that unfolded on Sunday left the families of British soldiers, who died fighting in the country, to question what they died for.

And father-of-2 Dave Watson, of the 1st Battalion Scots Guards in Britain, is one of the many distraught by the outcome of the Taliban takeover.

He was just twenty-two years old when he was deployed to Afghanistan. However, on his first tour in May 2010, he stood on an Explosive Device whilst on patrol.

"I remember hearing the click, but by then it was too late," Watson told the Lancashire Post. "My life flashed before my eyes and I thought this is it, I'm going.

"I died three times on the way home at 37,000ft, but they somehow brought me back."

His injuries resulted in him losing both his legs below the knee and his right arm above the elbow.

Watching everything unfold on Sunday, Watson feels his injuries were "for nothing" after the Taliban forced control of the country.

"I hate to say it. But it does feel like everything we've sacrificed was for nothing," says Watson.

"After two decades and thousands of lives lost - as well as soldiers like myself that have suffered life-changing injuries - it's very upsetting to see what has happened in the last twenty-four hours.

"Watching the news this morning, I just kept thinking about all the families whose lives were ripped apart because their sons and daughters died fighting for peace in Afghanistan.

"People like me have had their lives turned upside down and there's thousands of us. And it's not just life-changing physical injuries like mine. There's an ongoing mental health crisis among our veterans who served over there.

"People are haunted by what they saw in Afghanistan and they are struggling to live a full life because of PTSD. The effect of this war on our veterans has been huge.

"So today is a tough day for me, as it will be for many others. It feels like a defeat. But if I'm going, to be honest, I'm not surprised it ended like this."

However, Watson thinks that President Biden's decision to withdraw US forces, followed by British forces from the war-torn nation was "probably the right thing to do."

"It's been twenty years now and the fact is, we can't stay there forever," says Watson. "Biden is right. Sadly, the Afghan forces will need to step up and fight for their own country. If we had stayed, we might have been there for another 20 years.

"I love my country and I don't regret serving in Afghanistan for one minute. What happened there made me who I am today. If I hadn't been in Afghanistan and I hadn't been blown up, I wouldn't have won the medals I've won. I wouldn't have met my wife at a charity event, I wouldn't have my kids.

"But it is very upsetting to see all that we worked for - all the sacrifices made by our boys and girls over there, and all the progress, freedoms, and security we brought to the Afghan people - just disappear overnight.

"It's like pressing reset. After all that effort, all the pain, and sacrifice, all those lives changed forever - including my own. It does make you think, was it all worth it?"