Hello, I'm a retired Afghanistan veteran living in Colorado working diligently to help rescue my interpreter's family, who is currently hiding in Kabul. Sadly, with the removal of U.S. Forces from the airport, accomplishing this goal has become increasingly challenging. Many of us are at a loss and overwhelmed by leaving our brothers in arms and their families at risk of capture and execution in Afghanistan. If you support veterans, then please consider this cause.
To meet our goals we have started a non-profit organization, Afghan Promise (www.afghanpromise.org), licensed in Colorado, and is an IRS 501(c)(3) tax-deductible charitable organization which is currently working with other Veteran based charities and non-profit organizations working toward the mission.
Our initial mission was to raise funds to help evacuate my interpreter's family. That mission has grown beyond this one family to a group of over 40 families looking to be rescued. All these families have direct connections serving with U.S. Military personnel as interpreters, on base support workers or serving in the Afghan military fighting beside us. We seek funding to support these at risk Afghans while we work with the State Department to expedite VISAs and other documentation requirements to evacuate these families in hiding. Your tax deductible donations can help feed these starving families. Our monthly goal is $5,000 which feeds the 40 families.
We hope to achieve kind sponsors to donate monthly to achieve this. We ask that you consider our efforts and give what you can. Together we can make a difference and keep America's promise to these brave people. Funds beyond this amount will go to costs related to obtaining documentation (passports, VISAs, etc) for these families to evacuate, helping them settle once stateside and other at risk families in Afghanistan.
We hope you can help support our cause. The video below shows your donations in action!
(I will use only first letter of the names as the family is STILL in hiding and in danger, but have a complete set of their passports, NATO documents etc if needed to verify)
I was deployed to Afghanistan in 2008 supporting Headquarters International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) as a part of a NATO team. During this time I had the pleasure and good fortune to meet an intelligent, hard working young man named "W". When I first met him, he was providing laundry services but since he spoke multiple languages we transitioned him to work as our interpreter. It was his goal to help build a better Afghanistan.
He continued in this position for more than 5 years after I departed Afghanistan until approximately 2014. At that time we worked to have him evacuated from the country due to direct threats against him and his family. After lots of effort and time, we were able to get him to Sweden where he remains to this day. Before he left Afghanistan his younger brother "M" started working for NATO at the International Airport. He had to make a gut wrenching decision on whether to leave when given the opportunity during our withdrawal or return to his family. His family encouraged him to leave as he worked directly for the NATO forces so was in more immediate danger.
Where we are now:
"W" and "M" are safe. "W" continues to live in Sweden (the U.S. stated he had to return to Kabul to complete his U.S. VISA request which was impossible for him to do) and "M" was evacuated to Qatar and then to the U.S. at an Army post in Indiana and is now living in Buffalo, working at a local Walmart and missing his wife and children.
The rest of the family is now trying to decide to continue hiding and hope for flights out to begin again or make a literal run for the border. Both are dangerous but the border run is EXTREMELY so. Both options require a VISA from the country they will be entering before they can make a move.
As a veteran I am deeply saddened by the events surrounding our departure from Afghanistan. It was not the politicians who looked these brave men and women in the eye and told them we had their backs. They did not stand side by side and endure the dangers of combat. It was the veteran who formed the brotherly bond and it appears it is the veteran who must keep our Nation's word to support not only those we worked with but their families as well.
Please take a moment to consider this request for a donation. 100% of the donations will go to feed, extract and support these families. If each person could donate a simple $15 a month (or what ever you can afford) then forward this request to 10 other people we should be to generate the funds needed. I know there are other great organizations asking for similar funds and they are doing great work to make these evacuations happen. They do not always cover the individuals cost for things like VISA's etc. It is left to each of us to fund our connected families. So please give what you can.
I deeply appreciate the time and attention you paid by reading this far. Again, any little bit helps and it helps even more if you can forward this request to others. Please help me do right by the family I gained while serving in Afghanistan.