By Ed Timperlake
The horrific aftermath of the tragic end of the Afghan war is rippling through that country.
But you can help deal with the tragedy left behind by the way the Afghan withdrawal was done.
These truly courageous Afghans are in clear and present danger.
The fanatical Taliban who have overrun that country have made these allies targets for reprisals including death.
A Naval Academy classmate, Tom Schram ’69, has reached out with a call to help.
We are publishing his heartfelt words to encourage our readers and their friends and family to contribute to save lives and make it right for many who trusted us to get the evacuation right. Alas that was not to be—so in Tom’s own words;
From my USNA Class of 1969 Classmate Tom Schram:
“Did you ever feel like you “had” to do something?
“It happened to me on August 31, 2021, when I was recruited to help get Afghan veterans and their families to the U.S.
“I joined the Afghan Refugee Resettlement Group (ARRG). This is an all veteran, all volunteer organization dedicated to supporting those we left behind.
“Our total to date is 771 persons successfully resettled to the U.S.
“We are now working with 18 U.S. trained combat helo pilots and 17 family members who are in Pakistan awaiting resettlement.
“Two weeks ago, Pakistan implemented a new law that any Afghan without a current visa be deported back to Afghanistan within 48 hours. This created a massive drain on our bank account, leaving us with only $2,000, and that money had been borrowed.
“We decided to move forward with a GoFundMe campaign and ask everyone we know to publish this information as broadly as possible via email, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, What’sApp, and any other social media platform available, especially those targeted at veterans.
“The U.S. Department of State is now processing the visas of these courageous men and their families through the humanitarian pipeline. Background checks are underway, and we are tracking the process for every individual carefully and accurately. But ARRG expects that it will be another eight months before everyone is in the U.S. and starting to become contributing members of our society.
“It costs $5200/month to support these people in Pakistan and it will cost about $42,000 to acquire all the needed documentation. Together with travel cost, initial living expenses in the U.S., and immigration fees, the Group estimates a need of about $184,000 until they are safely resettled, employed, and have permanent residency.
“Below you can see photos of those you will be assisting in resettling to the U.S.
“ALL collected funds will be used to pay costs associated with getting these pilots to the U.S.
This effort has been underway now via ARRG since March of this year. Collected funds are delivered directly to ARRG and used for payment of rent, utilities, food, medical care, incidentals, processing fees, travel, immigration fees for resettlement to permanent residency, and initial support when they reach the U.S., as well as helping them find employment.
“We have secured commitment of immigration support at 50% the going rate from a national law firm and are actively working with helicopter associations with links to operators who need pilots since the U.S. is short about 2,000 helo pilots right now.
“We left these folks behind, and they deserve our support!
Please visit the GoFundMe page at this link: