For local Gold Star families, the end in Afghanistan is bittersweet

Local News

Jake Pautsch now leads Jason’s Box in honor of his brother.

It’s a non-profit to help injured combat veterans with recreational opportunities.

Pautsch wants to dedicate a memorial in the Quad Cities to veterans like his brother.

The American withdrawal from Afghanistan is continuing to make headlines around the world.

Pautsch is reflecting on the sacrifices that were made.

Tuesday marked the end of America’s longest war.

For Pautsch, it’s bittersweet.

“In my opinion, things could have been handled better,” Pautsch said. “Through my own personal research and understanding the Taliban breached their contract.”

He knows too well what it is like to sacrifice a loved one for a war. Corporal Jason Pautsch was killed in combat in Iraq in 2009.

He says he has heard of friends who have not been able to see or hear from each other for quite some time.

“A lot of people I’ve talked to haven’t heard from people they care about in 2 or 3 weeks and its quite contrary to what we are seeing or hearing in the news.”

Jake tells me seeing the Afghan allies and some Americans abandoned at the airport in Kabul is not how it should be.

“Historically we go and rescue people who are trapped behind enemy lines.”

Jake tells me paying respect and showing honor to fallen men and women is something we should always have on our mind.

“Look up online ‘Gold Star family members’ and call them,” Pautsch said. “Their information is out there. You can call them and say thank you. I mean, it’s not an easy thing to go through, to lose someone.”

Jake says he hopes people will never forget the sacrifices made by members of the Armed Forces.

For more information about Jason’s Box, click here.

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