Tragic images from Kabul airport have left Afghanistan war vets withdrawn, with a welfare advocate saying their psyches had been "badly wounded".
The sight of Afghans clinging to planes and some falling to their deaths as the Taliban took over the capital city has shocked former fighters.
Hume Veterans Information Centre welfare advocate Alex Wolf said there were well over 100, some of whom had been to Afghanistan up to five times, living on the Border.
"They're watching the television with thousands clinging to airplanes and falling off airplanes and they're thinking 'I've spent years over there teaching these people to be good soldiers and some of them are my friends and they've joined the Taliban'," Mr Wolf said.
"They're saying 'what the hell did I do over there, why was I over there?' and they've withdrawn into themselves.
"There's some reclamation work that has to be done with those veterans that have gone back into their silent zones."
Mr Wolf said some veterans had failed to turn up for work this week and others had teared up.
"Some of the war fighters say 'it's disgusting, it's a bloody disgrace and all those sorts of things' but inwardly I think they're in turmoil," he said.
"They don't know what this means to them.
"They're badly wounded because Afghanistan is back where they started 20 years ago."
Northeast Victorian based Wangaratta RSL president, retired army Lieutenant-General Ash Power spent 12 months in Afghanistan working at a senior level with the country's defence and interior departments.
"It is more than just a bitter disappointment," he said of the Taliban takeover and collapse of the Afghan government and military.
"It's a wasted opportunity that had been provided to the Afghan government to embark on a far different future than what has eventuated.
"They couldn't get over their tribal affiliations and there's too many neighbouring countries that didn't assist in any way.
"There's endemic corruption from a local level up to the national government.
"There's warlordism going on and there's criminal gangs running the drug business."
Mr Power warned the failure of US forces would embolden groups as far away as Jemaah Islamiyah in Indonesia.
"I suspect around the world we'll see more terrorism attacks, it's fillip for Islamist terrorists," he said.
Mr Power said while Australian veterans would be distraught "they should understand that they did a good job, they did the best they could, they provided the opportunity for Afghans to take up a better future for their country which they didn't take up".