‘Was it worth it?’ A fallen Marine and a war’s crushing end

National News

Gretchen Catherwood sits in her home in Springville, Tenn., on Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021. Her son, 19-year-old Alec, was killed in Afghanistan fighting the Taliban in 2010. She and her husband are creating a retreat space, Darkhorse Lodge, for veterans up the road from their home. (AP Photo/Karen Pulfer Focht)

SPRINGVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Gretchen Catherwood’s son, 19-year-old Alec, was killed in Afghanistan fighting the Taliban in 2010.

As she watched the news over the last two weeks, including the killings of several U.S. Marines by suicide bombers Thursday, it felt like 10 minutes ago.

As the American military left Afghanistan, the Afghan military put down its weapons, the president fled and the Taliban took over.

On Facebook, she’d seen someone declare “what a waste of life and potential.”

As she exchanged messages with the others who’d paid the price of war, she worried its end was forcing them to question whether all they had seen and all they had suffered mattered at all.

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