Vestal Man on Dangerous Past and Perilous Future of Afghanistan
2/27/2014 (Updated 8:18:43 PM)(Source: Jason Weinstein)
As a State Department contractor, William Kelley has spent much of the last decade training Afghan Police and Border Patrol to get them ready to take over operations when the U-S leaves. It was a job that came with more than it's share of deadly risk.
"I've been involved in attacks on the base and attacks on the FOBs (Forward Operating Bases), and attacks on our regional training centers at our police academies," said Kelley.
In 2006 Kelley survived two I-E-D attacks a week apart. The second of those attacks left him in the infirmary for four months. But Kelley is lucky. Unlike some of his comrades, Kelley made it home.
"People I call brother and a couple I even call my sister. I will never forget these people and I hope the United States never forgets these people. It's hard to know that I came home and they didn't," said Kelley.
Kelley says the Afghan population is split on it's feelings about the U-S.
"Obviously I was involved in a lot of sticky situations over there with the people who hated us. But on a whole the Afghan people really liked us," said Kelley.
With the U-S possibly removing its troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year, Kelley reflects on how well the Afghans themselves will be able to fight the Taliban in the War on Terror.
"When we leave if the Taliban should happen to take over again there's a possibility they'll go back to the Taliban way. With that said there are so many people over there who do not want that to happen," said Kelley.
****In Endicott, Jason Weinstein, FOX 40 HD News****
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