A Hawke's Bay soldier whose husband was killed in Afghanistan is "deeply saddened and disappointed'' but not bitter about the Taliban's takeover of Kabul.
Tina Grant, Staff Sergeant (NZDF), has been struggling with personal turmoil since she heard about Taliban's sweep of Afghanistan – capturing 26 of Afghanistan's 34 provincial capitals in a matter of weeks before it entered Kabul on Sunday.
This is the first time in two decades that the Taliban has held major Afghan cities.
Grant lost her husband Corporal Douglas Grant, 41, a Special Air Service (SAS) soldier, when he was killed during an operation to rescue hostages at the British Council cultural centre in Kabul, on August 19, 2011.
Camp Grant, a transition station located within Hamid Karzai International Airport and named after Doug, will now cease to exist.
"I am deeply saddened by what's happening in Kabul, but I am proud of what we achieved in Afghanistan. Going there was not futile."
The centre, in the capital Kabul, was under attack by the Taliban. Doug was on the roof of a building near the centre when he was shot through the chest.
"He rescued five people, three British civilians and two Gurkha security guards," Grant said.
"They were finding a way out when he was shot. As sad as this is, as much as we've lost, there are two generations of Afghani people whose betterment of lives we have contributed to.
"That is why my husband enlisted, to help people, he always helped the underdog.
"It takes a pretty ballsy person to do what we do, and when s**t hit the fans we were there."
Grant, who enlisted with the army 20 years ago, said, despite losing her husband, she was not bitter.
"I am deeply saddened, disappointed, and I feel quite cheated about what's happening in Kabul right now, it's everything my husband fought and died to prevent," she said.
On Sunday Kabul found itself cut off after insurgents overran the anti-Taliban northern stronghold of Mazar-i-Sharif and the eastern city of Jalalabad.
Like most of the other captured cities, the seizure of power came after government forces surrendered or retreated.
"We did some great work with the civilians and we worked really hard on the infrastructure, education, and I am sad that all of that won't be there anymore," Grant said.
"I feel sick because things like Camp Grant, a transition station located within Hamid Karzai International Airport and named after Doug, will cease to exist.
''There are street names named after our fallen soldiers which will not exist.
"All of those things would be gone forever, including the concrete statutes for our fallen built by the civilians. But I am not bitter, I am grateful that small things were achieved by our people."
New Zealand's 20-year deployment in Afghanistan ended in March, and 3500 troops served during that time, 10 did not make it home alive, including Douglas Grant.
"It was not a waste of our time, not futile. We helped the children go to school, get an education," she said.
"Doug always wanted to help children, and with international engagement, we gave the civilians we helped an insight into a peaceful Afghanistan.
"We planted the seeds of hope with those we helped and hopefully they can take the life skills that we helped them with and nurture that seed.
"We are Kiwis, we help our mates, our fellow soldiers, we helped the civilians in a war that wasn't our own.
"The survivors, the families left behind, we move forward and help each other, but never forget."
Following the loss of her husband, Tina identified shortcomings in post casualty support and duty of care by the Army and wider Defence Force.
She identified a range of practical services typical of what affected parties could be required to navigate through in times of grief, loss and trauma, and identified simple processes and solutions.
In 2012, she was appointed to the newly created function of Army Liaison Officer and primary point of contact for all army families that have lost family members while in service.
She is still in the role and currently based in Linton.
Memorial ride for Corporal Douglas 'Duggy' Grant
Tina Grant along with the Patriots Defence Force Motor Cycle Club and family will commemorate the 10 year anniversary of Corporal Grant's death on Saturday.
They will gather at Corporal Grant's graveside in Western Hills Cemetery, Napier at 1pm.
This will be the last memorial ride.
Tina has been organising the memorial ride for the past 10 years and she now feels it is time to move on.
"It's time to close the chapter, not the book," she said.