U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Christopher Donahue was the very last American service member to leave Afghanistan on Monday.
The last service member to leave Afghanistan after 20 years of fighting is the commanding general of the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg.
Christopher Donahue is seen boarding the plane, which also carried US Ambassador to Afghanistan Ross Wilson, according to a handout provided by the US Central Command.
At 7:37 p.m. EST, the 18th Airborne Corps tweeted a photo of “the last soldier to leave Afghanistan.”
“In awe of our Sky Dragon Soldiers,” according to the tweet from the 18th Airborne Corps. “This was an incredibly tough, pressurized mission filled with multiple complexities, with active threats the entire time. Our troops displayed grit, discipline and empathy.”
Christopher Donohue is alone and stone-faced in the photo, holding his firearm, with a Kabul airport hangar behind him as he prepares to board the plane that left just before a self-imposed US deadline to evacuate.
“(They) were in fact the last people to step on the ground, step on the airplane,” said Gen. Frank McKenzie, commander of the U.S. Central Command, The Fayetteville Observer reported.
Who is Christopher Donahue?
Donahue was deployed to Afghanistan this month to help secure the Kabul airport as the U.S. drew nearer to Tuesday’s withdrawal deadline.
Their departure marked the end of a nearly 20-year mission that began shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
Donahue – a former special assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Pentagon – previously served as the commander of special operations joint task force-Afghanistan in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.
Over his long military career, he has been deployed 17 times to carry out operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, North Africa and Eastern Europe.