Mike Rowe might not have served in the military himself, but that doesn’t mean he’s not an advocate for active service members and veterans. In light of the recent events in Kabul, Rowe is one of the many who think of the veterans’ point of view that served overseas. For many service members, the recent evacuation from Afghanistan has been troubling. Having fought to keep the Taliban out of control for so many years, watching them take over in just a matter of days is, as some celebrities have put it, “heartbreaking.”
In response to a question from a fan, Mike Rowe shared his thoughts on the current foreign affair on his official website.
“My thoughts, first and foremost, are with the men and women who risked everything over there on my behalf,” Rowe wrote back to the fan. “I’ve been thinking specifically of my friend, Travis Mills – one of the first quadruple amputees to survive his injuries in Afghanistan. I simply can’t imagine what’s going through his mind right now, or how he must feel.”
Mike Rowe also posted a photo of himself with Travis Mills on his website. It is clear that Mills’ left arm is a prosthetic.
“I’m thinking of the 22 vets who kill themselves every day, oftentimes because they don’t believe their sacrifice had any meaning,” the Dirty Jobs star continued. “And of course, I’m thinking of all the Gold Star families I’ve met over the years – parents and siblings who lost sons and daughters and brothers and sisters for a cause that now seems impossible to define.”
Mike Rowe Says He is ‘Sick to His Stomach’
Over the years, Mike Rowe has worked alongside veterans in Dirty Jobs, Somebody’s Gotta Do It and Returning the Favor. The latter was a web series that focused on individuals who devoted much of their lives to giving back to their communities.
While other celebrities may try to give a more diplomatic response, Mike Rowe decided to share his candid emotions and reaction to events in Afghanistan. Of course, like with anyone, this comes with a cost–not everyone will agree with Rowe’s perspective. However, he makes it clear in his response to the fan that his priority is to share the perspective and stories of those who have fought for our country.
Knowing how much grief the withdrawal from Afghanistan has caused veterans in his own life, Rowe shared, “It makes me sick to my stomach when I imagine their despair.”
He continued, “I’m just trying to put myself in the place of those men and women who volunteered to fight this war, who are now asking themselves the same inevitable question: Was it worth it?”
To further explain his perspective, Mike Rowe quoted former Troop Commander Don Bentley’s article in the New York Post in which Bentley asked the same difficult question.
“To my fellow veterans, to the quarter of a percent who willingly bore this crushing weight without fanfare or complaint, you are the very best of us,” Bentley wrote in the article. “Your sacrifice will not be forgotten.”