Local Gold Star father reacts to chaos in Afghanistan

Veterans PTSD
Posted at 8:38 PM, Aug 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-26 23:21:13-04

TAMPA BAY, Fla — A Gold Star father is reacting to the attacks in Afghanistan that killed more than U.S. service members.

Craig Gross said the images from Kabul are hard to watch.

"I look at it, not only as a loss for our military, but also the devastating loss these families are going to be going through. It's been 10 years since I lost my son in the war and it still grieves my heart almost on a daily basis. This is what these families are going to be going through," said Craig Gross.

Craig's son, Cpl. Frank Gross, was killed in Afghanistan in 2011. An IED caused his son's military vehicle to roll over.

"This is our worst nightmare and to have this many people lose their loved ones, this tragically, it just didn't have to happen."

At least 13 U.S. service members as well as dozens of Afghans died in two explosions near the Kabul airport.

"The attack on the Abbey Gate was followed by a number of ISIS gunmen who opened fire on civilians and military forces," said Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, Commander of U.S. Central Command.

U.S. officials said suicide bombers affiliated with ISIS-K carried out what the Pentagon called a "complex attack." The threat continues, but the mission to evacuate American citizens will continue.

"We believe it is their desire to continue those attacks and we expect those attacks to continue and we’re doing everything we can to be prepared for those attacks," said Gen. McKenzie.

The Pentagon estimates there are still about 1,000 American citizens still in Afghanistan.

"We have basically gone to a dance with the devil and I can you tell you right now I knew that a couple weeks ago when this all started coming down, I knew that there would be bloodshed and I knew that our soldiers that would be in great danger," said Gross.