After 20 years of US military presence in Afghanistan, Army General Chris Donahue was the last American Soldier to officially leave the country, the Pentagon said on Tuesday.
“The last American soldier to leave Afghanistan: Maj. Gen. Chris Donahue, commanding general of the 82nd Airborne division, XVIII Airborne Corps boards an US air force C-17 on August 30th, 2021, ending the US mission in Kabul,” the Department of Defense said.
His were the last American military boots on the ground in Afghanistan before the last US troops officially left the country, as the Taliban celebrated with parades the end to US presence in Afghanistan.
Donahue was photographed in night-vision green as he carried an M4.
The last military planes have left Kabul and the evacuation operation is over, Marine Corps Gen. Frank McKenzie, the commander of US Central Command said on Monday.
The last C-17 departed with Army Maj. Gen. Chris Donahue, the commander of troops in Kabul, and US Ambassador to Afghanistan Ross Wilson aboard, McKenzie added.
“The C-17 departure today was both the end of the military portion of the evacuation and also the end of the nearly 20 year mission that began in Afghanistan shortly after September 11, 2001. It is a mission that brought Osama bin Laden to an end, along with many of his al-Qaida co-conspirators, and it was not a cheap mission.”
The Pentagon said more than 800,000 American service members and 25,000 civilians served in Afghanistan over the almost 20-year mission. A total of 2,461 US service members and civilians were killed and more than 20,000 were injured.