East Tennessee veterans respond to Afghanistan bombing

Published: Apr. 13, 2017 at 11:27 PM EDT
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An East Tennessee veteran who fought in Afghanistan said the bombing on Thursday was a step in the right direction, while some members of Congress question President Trump's plan.

Robert Mcghee served 5 months with the U.S. Army in Afghanistan in 2015.

"We would get rocketed everyone once and awhile and when we would go out on some of these missions we would get direct contact," said Mcghee.

Mcghee said he was happy to hear news that U.S. forces in Afghanistan struck an Islamic State tunnel complex with the largest non-nuclear weapon every used in combat by the U.S. military, according to the Pentagon.

"To be totally honest I was ecstatic. it seems like people have forgotten that we are still in Afghanistan, there's still people fighting over there," said Mcghee.

Other veterans said they agree with Mcghee.

"They thought they were pulled out too early, before the mission was accomplished, ISIS came in and overran the country. They feel somewhat let down and they'd love to go over there and finish the job up," said Richard Lynch who served 13 years in the Army as a paratrooper.

Meanwhile Congressman Seth Moulton said that President Trump's focus should be bringing the troops home.

"Right now Afghanistan is the longest war in American history, we have 8,000 troops there and the president never even discussed Afghanistan during the campaign. This is the first time we've head about it from his administration," said Moulton.

Andy White with the University of Tennessee's Aerospace and Defense Business Institute, spent 20 years in the Air Force and worked with the unit that pushed the massive bomb out of a U.S. Air Force MC-130.

White said the bombing is a major development and the first time the bomb has been used anywhere. He went on to say that the psychological damage to the enemy could be even more far reaching.

"Whenever you're an enemy and you think you're secure and you think they don’t know where you are and even if they do, they can reach you and all of the sudden out of the blue they reach in and kill you. There’s a significant psychological effect to that," said White.

It's still unclear how many ISIS fighters were killed in the strike. The U.S. department of Defense said that U.S. forces took every precaution to make sure there were no civilian casualties.