TULSA, Okla. — As the world watches chaos unfolding in Afghanistan, many military families around the country are left in disbelief.
Jane Horton lost her husband, Oklahoma National Guard Specialist Christopher Horton, in 2011. He was killed in Afghanistan. After his death, she decided to go to the country where her husband took his last breath to see what he gave his life fighting for.
"I have fallen in love with the Afghan people, the orphans, and the widows," Horton said. "I have done a lot of work with Afghanistan, and I have done a lot of work with the military veteran's community."
Horton said the day she got the news Chris had been killed was soul-crushing.
“You know when you lose your husband in a war and he’s killed by a terrorist, it seems like the heaviest thing you can possibly deal with," she said.
It's been nearly a decade since his death, and now she said the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban forces is stirring up even more pain.
“This is incredibly heavy. There is so much disaster involved in all of this," Horton said.
She's been to Afghanistan six times and made countless friends. Right now, she is working tirelessly to get them to safety.
"It’s almost impossible," she said. "Even if you do have a way to get out and the U.S. sent you a code and it’s your turn to go to the airport, it’s nearly impossible, it's not possible to get through the huge mob of people."
During his address to the nation on Friday, President Joe Biden said the U.S. is working with the Taliban to let Americans get through the mob to get to the airport safely.
"We have no idea what the Taliban is going to do," Horton said. "We are making all of these deals with them, but obviously they are a terrorist group."
For people left feeling helpless, Horton asks they do what they can for local military families.
“I ask that you reach out to them, do something for them, bring them dinner," she said. "Don’t ask what they need because nobody knows what they need. Have your kids make them a card, make them cookies, and say we are grateful for you but check on them all."
Horton reminds everyone America is the land of the free, because of the brave, “you have to try, and you have to get involved and you have to raise your voice. That is the beauty of this country. We have forgotten that this country goes where we steer it."
For now, Horton said she is going to keep advocating and encouraging people to get involved, to contact their lawmakers and to raise their voices until they are heard.
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