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'Like Starting From Scratch': Veteran Saddened After Taliban Gains Ground In Afghanistan

REVERE (CBS) - In the month that U.S. combat forces have been out of Afghanistan, the Taliban have overrun large portions of the country and seized 11 provincial capitals.

In Revere, veteran Marc Silvestri has watched in disbelief. "It's almost like starting from scratch," Silvestri said.

Silvestri served 13 months in Afghanistan, much of the time in northern outposts that saw heavy combat. He's now the head of Veterans Affairs in Revere.

While he says it was time the U.S. ended the combat mission in the country after 20 years, he's saddened the Taliban has faced little resistance lately from the Afghan army. "The fact the Afghan Army didn't put up a month of a fight is surprising," he said. "I'm shocked at the speed and brazenness of the Taliban."

When Silvestri was fighting in Afghanistan, his interpreter was Sabib Nuristani. Silvestri was instrumental in getting Nuristani and his family to the states.

Nuristani said he fears the future is dark for democracy in his homeland and he fears for the safety of anyone who helped or was friendly to the Americans. "I fear for my family and friends," Nuristani said. "They're in a bad situation."

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