Wife of Kabul airbase commander speaks to News 8: ‘No wife wants to give up their husband’

Local News

VIRGINIA, (WROC) — The evacuation of American forces from Afghanistan continues, all this after two suicide bombings at the Kabul Airport that left 13 servicemembers and dozens of Afghan civilians dead.

News 8 was able to speak with his Jenepher Esser, wife the wife of Colonel Tom Esser, who is currently the commander of the Kabul airbase, today in Virginia.

Col. Esser was unavailable for comment but gave Jen the okay to speak with News 8 (the Essers know reporter Christian Garzone when they were stationed in Japan). Jen says she has gone four days now without sleep, worried about her husband and all the people still trying to get out of Afghanistan. 

Jen says Tom has volunteered for every deployment he’s been on. It was his time helping during evacuations in Sendai, Japan after the earthquake and tsunami in 2011, that she feels helped to train him for this, and could be why he was appointed to such a high position at Kabul.

“So, I have actually been able to see my husband work under severe pressures,” she says.

Right now Jen says she’s not watching the news, and is praying hard for the souls that were lost yesterday, and for all to come home alive. 

“Our hearts are with you. I think it should all be about you right now, and I just hope there are no more casualties,” she says.

“All I can wrap my head around is that I see my husband and I see him soon. Is that the best thing? I don’t know,” Jen said. “He was made for this job and he is doing incredible humanitarian work while he’s over there. But you know, no wife wants to give up their husband. It’s a very hard thing. I honor what he’s done and I love the oath that he’s taken, I believe in the United States military.”

For now, Jen says the mission of her husband, and all forces there continues to meet the evacuation deadline on Tuesday. 

“Getting every American out that he can, so he wants to be there until the very last minute to work with our allies to try and spare and save every life possible,” says Jen.

When asked how the pullout is being handled by leaders in Washington, Jen says she has no opinion right now, but will once this is over with.

“I think in the end when it’s all said and done I’ll be angry. I’ll be very angry about the situation. I don’t think it’s a situation that needed to happen,” she said.

UPDATE: Jen Esser told News 8 on Sunday that Col. Tom Esser departed Afghanistan and landed safely in Qatar.

Photo provided by Jen Esser of Col. Tom Esser

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