By Karen Morfitt

GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4)– Watching the conflict in Afghanistan escalate and hearing that United States military members were killed, hits home for Marine veteran Billie Jo Gillispie.

(credit: CBS)

“It’s very hard to not reach out to people you know who are in the country, if you do and they don’t answer, that doesn’t mean anything, it adds to the anxiety of ‘Is she OK?’” Gillispie said.

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She now works to ensure other female service members have access to resources, through a group called Colorado Female Marines. Some of the women she works with are currently in Kabul.

“We don’t know if they were in the airport at the time, we don’t know so much and I’m just waiting for any information to come my way,” she said.

(credit: Billie Jo Gillispie)

Congressman Jason Crow, a former Army Ranger who served in Afghanistan, says it has been an extremely difficult day for veterans of America’s longest war.

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“Those of us who still have friends on the ground… I have a close friend who was manning the gate today and was near where the bomb went off and luckily, he survived the attack,” said Crow.

While Gillispie waits for news, she thinks about the conversations she has had with those in currently serving in Afghanistan, “They do know how much danger they are in; they were very aware that this was a possibility.”

Billie Jo Gillispie (credit: CBS)

Her hope is that preparedness keeps them safe.

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“It hits hard in the gut and me and my sisters are very much holding each other up right now,” she said.

Karen Morfitt