ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A year on, and many across the nation are reflecting on the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. News 8 ran an exclusive story back then with the wife of the Kabul base commander; she described a scene of uncertainty and chaos — something many saw on TV screens across the world.

Marine Nick Stefanovic did two tours in Afghanistan. He’s now the director of the Veterans Service Agency for Monroe County. “…and (we) help a lot of the veterans who served in Afghanistan get their benefits and deal with stuff that happened over there,” he said.

A year after the withdrawal, Stefanovic says no one is satisfied with how it happened, or what came after. 

“Everybody remembers the video footage of guys falling off the plane as it left Kabul Airport,” he said, adding, “No one thought it went well.”

From the American and Afghan casualties — to the billions of dollars of equipment left behind, — to the Taliban taking back control. Stefanovic says it was toughest to watch for those who served. 

“Some of us left a part of ourselves over there — and a lot of us worked really closely with the interpreters,” he says.

Stefanovic says the interpreters then and now are big targets for the Taliban. All the more reason to continue to get everyone who wants out, out. 

“They hated the interpreters. They were traitors (to the Taliban),” he said. He did say Congressman Joe Morelle’s office has been instrumental in helping secure the resettlement of refugees evacuating the country since August of last year, including organizations like ‘Keeping Our Promise’.

For servicemembers still dwelling on the withdrawal — he says know when to unplug and get help. This is a situation that will remain for years to come. 

“Go and practice some self-care because often we can too easily get sucked back into that war in our minds,” he said.

He said there will never be a day when the US and its allies can trust the Taliban government. He hopes that the best can eventually come out of such a tough situation.