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Kent Gold Star Father supports withdrawal from Afghanistan

Posted at 6:35 PM, Aug 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-17 18:38:53-04

KENT, Ohio — The decision by President Joe Biden to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan and the resulting Taliban takeover is sparking a lot of emotion for military families.

Scott Hamilton, a Gold Star Father from Kent, has experienced mixed feelings.

Ultimately, he believes removing military members was the right call.

"I think they did what they needed to do, but I also agree that it is probably time to withdraw right now," Hamilton said. "I think it's time that we needed to move on from what we were doing over there."

His son, 22-year-old Adam Hamilton, was killed by an improvised explosive device while on a mission in Afghanistan in 2011.

Adam Hamilton

Scott, 62, remembers his son as a smiling, vibrant young man who joined the U.S. Army because of the terrorist attacks in September of 2001. He was trained as a specialist scout sniper.

"He always said it's his role in life to go protect his country now," his father told News 5.

Family members said when Adam was deployed to Afghanistan, he felt like it was part of his calling and he took protecting the children there personally.

Adam Hamilton in Afghanistan.

"He firmly believed that he needed to get to those children before the Taliban did," Scott said.

Scott said Adam died on May 28, 2011 during a sabotage.

"He saw action every single day," he said. "It still hurts very, very bad."

However, Scott stressed he doesn't feel like his son died in vain.

"The men and women who were over there were pretty happy to serve and most of them it was their choice, and personally, as a family, we're okay with that," he said. "Adam's service there meant everything. I get to walk down the street pretty proud. I get to stick out my chest and tell the world that my son served."

Although Scott supports the withdrawal, the chaotic images from Afghanistan make him fear for the Afghan people.

"It's difficult to see what's going on over there and I see those families and children-- like we talked about with Adam-- that aren't safe anymore."

Adam graduated from Kent Roosevelt High School where he played football, lacrosse and hockey. The fitness center at the school has been named in his honor.

His memory is kept alive through a foundation that awards scholarships to high school students. The organization also hosts an annual CrossFit and 5K event.

The whirlwind of events on the other side of the world have certainly stirred up memories of Adam, but Scott said he's also thinking about the safe return of Americans in Afghanistan whether they're in the military or otherwise.

"It's not a safe soil right now and I can only hope for their safety," Scott said. "We already lost enough men and women and I don't want to see nobody else go through the agony that we go through every day."