The following is a brief summary of the content that is generally available on the Wikipedia and in other sources:
The Soviet war in Afghanistan was a nine-year conflict involving the Soviet Union, supporting the Marxist-Leninist government of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan against the Afghan Mujaheddin and foreign “Arab–Afghan” volunteers. The mujaheddin received unofficial military and/or financial support from a variety of countries including the United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, Pakistan, Israel, Taiwan, Indonesia and China.
The initial Soviet deployment began on December 24, 1979. The final troop withdrawal started on May 15, 1988, and ended on February 15, 1989. Due to the interminable nature of the war, the conflict in Afghanistan has sometimes been referred to as the “Soviet Union’s Vietnam War.”
For the entire duration of war, a total of 620,000 soldiers served with the forces in Afghanistan (though there were only 80,000-104,000 serving at one time). A further 21,000 personnel were with the Soviet troop contingent over the same period doing various white collar and blue collar jobs.
The total irrecoverable personnel losses of the Soviet Armed Forces, frontier, and internal security troops came to 14,453. Of the troops deployed, 53,753 (11.44 percent) were wounded, injured, or sustained concussion and 415,932 (88.56 percent) fell sick. A high proportion of casualties were those who fell ill. This was because of local climatic and sanitary conditions, which were such that acute infections spread rapidly among the troops. There were 115,308 cases of infectious hepatitis, 31,080 of typhoid fever, and 140,665 of other diseases. Of the 11,654 who were discharged from the army after being wounded, maimed, or contracting serious diseases, 92 percent, or 10,751 men, were left disabled.
Estimates of the Afghan deaths vary from 1 million to 2 million. 5-10 million Afghans fled to Pakistan and Iran, 1/3 of the prewar population of the country. Another 2 million Afghans were displaced within the country. In the 1980s, half of all refugees in the world were Afghan.
To understand the impact of the Soviet-Afghan war on an average Soviet family, it is important to remember that the late Soviet Armed Forces were manned by mandatory draft (with some exceptions) for all able-bodied males for 2 years (3 years in the Navy), based on a 1967 law. A bi-annual call-up in spring and fall was introduced then, replacing the annual draft in fall. Men were subject to draft at the age of 18. The draftees were normally sent to serve far away from their place of residence. During the war, a high percentage of mobilized soldiers were sent directly to Afghanistan. There were severe criminal penalties for draft evasion.