WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Nearly one year after the withdrawal of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, a Massachusetts State Senator spoke about his time serving his country.

Senator John Velis spoke to a small group about his tours of duty in the Middle East at West Springfield Public Library Monday evening. The rapid fall of the Afghan government and the return of the extremist Taliban government that was overthrown in 2001 has led to much self-reflection from those who served there in the course of the two decade war.

Velis served two tours in that country and to this day, still can’t stop thinking about it, “I got a real problem with how it ended. The people that helped us, that put their lives on the line, we need to take care of them. What does that say about us as a nation. The people that helped us, the people that helped keep Americans alive, they were promised that if we did this for us, we would take care of them.”

The United States Armed Forces completed their withdrawal from Afghanistan on August 30, 2021.