Local Afghanistan veterans react to Kabul airport attack

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Veterans in the Cape Fear are reacting after a terrorist attack in Afghanistan Thursday killed dozens of people, including at least 13 US troops.

Recently retired Marine Corps Colonel Eric Terashima served for 30 years, including three tours in Afghanistan between 2010 and 2020.

“It’s a mixed bag of emotions, and obviously a lot of stress and strain,” he said.

Terashima is currently living in Leland, and says he’s still close to the situation overseas. He’s already helped four Afghan families immigrate to the US.

“I was actually messaging with a friend of mine who was at Abbey Gate about an hour before the suicide attack took place and I advised him to leave the area immediately and he said he would,” Terashima said.

A short time later, two suicide bombers affiliated with ISIS-K carried out what the Pentagon called a “complex attack,” killing 13 troops and 60 Afghan civilians.

“It’s a bit of a gut punch, knowing that those are my brothers in arms, sisters in arms other there,” Terashima said.

Also reacting to the attack is Army veteran and New Hanover County Board of Education vice-chair Nelson Beaulieu, who was deployed to Afghanistan in 2006 as a military police officer.

“I just can’t stop thinking about the families, knowing what my family went through with the constant worry, just knowing how they’re suffering,” Beaulieu said. “And I’m just really concerned about them, I’m grateful to those American heroes who gave their lives.”

Beaulieu says he also worries about the Afghan people who are left behind, hoping they’re able to be safely evacuated.

“I have people over there who I think about every single day that I know are thinking about me, and that I’m so grateful to,” he said. “Because this was a joint mission, it was for the people of Afghanistan and I’m just worried about them.”

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