Faces of war

Within the next few years, those beginning in college or joining the military will have little to no memories of an America that wasn’t involved in conflict in Afghanistan—though for many Americans, the reality of war never hit home. (Photo illustration by Barbara Harvey)

The original version of this story spelled Hamed Hafezy’s first name with an i in stead of with an e.

Within the next few years, those beginning in college or joining the military will have little to no memories of an America that wasn’t involved in conflict in Afghanistan—though for many Americans, the reality of war never hit home.

Even though the U.S. combat mission in Afghanistan officially ended last year, President Barack Obama announced last month that 9,800 U.S. troops will remain there until the end of 2016 at the earliest.

Three members of American River College’s veteran community—Dan Avegalio, Colin Lewis and Michael Monk—spoke about their time serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the transition to life back home, which presents unique challenges.

For those born and raised in Afghanistan, the pressing choice to stay or flee is their reality. Two Afghans, Mahjabeen Zazai and Hamed Hafezy, made the decision to leave—both under threat of death from the Taliban.

People from both walks of life can be found in America, and also at American River College. Click on the links above to read their stories. For information on the influx of refugees to the Sacramento area, click here.

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