By Juli McDonald

BOSTON (CBS) – At the popular Brighton restaurant Ariana Thursday, it was dinner as usual for patrons. But owner Najeeb Rostami’s heart and mind were on the other side of the world.

“Every time I call, if they don’t pick up the phone my heart drops,” he said.

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His brother survived the deadly bombings in Afghanistan. He’d been at the airport trying to process paperwork for their mother to return here. She’s a permanent U.S. resident visiting their many relatives.

“I asked her why are you going back? She said at least if I’m there I have a feeling I can protect my kids,” Rostami said.

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Watching the terror there is obviously so deeply painful for those families who call Afghanistan home. But it’s also very personal for our veterans who have already sacrificed so much.

“The Taliban or ISIS-K couldn’t have planned it any better to have so many people in one spot to plan an attack. It was heart-wrenching today,” said Marc Silvestri.

Silvestri is the Director of Veterans Services in Revere. He served 13 months in Afghanistan. While his heart now breaks for too many new Gold Star families, he reminds his fellow veterans their service was honorable.

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“We have done and did something that was worth it,” Silvestri said. “Now’s the time to bring our soldiers home. We can’t afford to lose any more men and women.”

Juli McDonald