By Hannah Caver, for The Tribune
TRUSSVILLE — American Legion Post 205 invited veterans and those who support the military to Slag Heap Brewery, in Trussville, on Thursday, September 9 at 6 p.m. The purpose of the gathering was to honor the lives of the 13 soldiers recently killed at the Kabul airport in Afghanistan.
A table set for 13, each having a full drink and flag folded in the middle, was displayed for the fallen soldiers.
Robert Langford, a member of American Legion Post 205 and Trussville veterans committee, said he “felt like we needed to honor our troops that passed away.”
For Langford, the U.S.’s withdrawal from Afghanistan struck a nerve. An Army veteran from 1997-2005, Langford knows firsthand what the days following September 11, 2001, were like.
“When I was in the National Guard I was working a job that saw the planes hit the towers, and then a month later I decided to go back on active duty again,” Langford said. “We left with our tail between our legs … that’s the way a lot of military folks feel.”
But this night wasn’t about anger. It was meant to honor those who passed on while doing their duty.
“We wanted a ceremonial ‘raise the glass’ toast to them because they can’t have one,” Langford said.
Dozens of people came to share a toast, lifting their glasses and honoring those who did not make it home.
Among those in attendance was World War II Veteran, U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sergeant E. W. Bush (retired). Bush smiled and laughed with the different individuals mingling around the room, proudly wearing his WWII Veteran hat.
“I like to be around with my buddies,” Bush said. “I don’t know none of them, but we have the same thing together, the military, and as far as I’m concerned we’re buddies.”
Bush shared similar emotions when thinking about what happened in Afghanistan, saying it’s “stupid” for the “the way they pulled out the way they did out there.”
Langford said Trussville is a patriotic community. As veterans and supporting community members toasted in honor of veterans and the fallen soldiers, it was easy to see their love and respect for each other.