General Beagle reflects on 9/11 and Fort Drum soldiers’ role in Afghanistan war

Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 3:25 PM EDT
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FORT DRUM, New York (WWNY) - As the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America approaches and the war in Afghanistan ends, the commander of the 10th Mountain Division, Major General Milford Beagle, Jr., shared his thoughts with 7 News.

“A lot of people ask the question, especially this week and over time, ‘Where were you on 9/11?’ The follow-up question rarely asked is, ‘What were you doing, and what did you do,’” he said.

For 10th Mountain Division soldiers, they left their families and went to war.

“Similar to World War II, the greatest generation as they are deemed, I mean, this generation is pretty great as well. Those young men and women, their families, for all the sacrifices they made, and you can see the results of that,” said General Beagle.

Nearing the 20th anniversary of 9/11, the Afghanistan war is over. In the final days, 10th Mountain Division soldiers secured the U.S. Embassy, guarded the Kabul airport and were stationed in nearby countries.

While out of Afghanistan, some Fort Drum soldiers are in that region. More soldiers of the 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team have yet to return to join 100 others that just arrived days ago. There are also other soldiers from other units who were recently activated who need to return to Fort Drum.

“It’s an understatement when you talk about that appreciation and just how honored you are because words can’t really describe it,” said General Beagle.

The 10th Mountain Division is the most deployed Army division since 9/11, with 48 deployments to Iraq and 36 to Afghanistan.

More than 300 10th Mountain Division soldiers were lost.

“We never forget those; you always think of those Gold Star families. But on top of that, you think of what the last 20 years has meant for our country. We’ve had nothing that rises to the level of 9/11 since we’ve been deployed there. This division is a major contributor to that,” said General Beagle.

Fort Drum will host a 9/11 memorial ceremony on Friday morning.

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