My name is Matt Carpenter. On behalf of myself, and our small team consisting of my colleague Rick Stockburger, another US soldier and former comrade, and two foreign heroes that cannot be named, we would like to ask for your assistance in helping our friends. Our small team worked to coordinate and facilitate communication with foreign allies and the Hungarian SOF teams within Hamid Karzai International Airport while directly assisting in the maneuvering and link-up for extraction for several of our Afghan friends and their families - totaling approximately 150 persons.
All of the individuals named or described above served as combat advisors/embedded trainers to the Afghan National Army's 209th Shaheen Corps out of FOB Kelegai in Baghlan Province between 2008-2013. As a result, our relationship with local assets and host national forces was very unique and personal. Our mission was a dangerous mission that involved a significant level of trust, relationship building, and tolerance for different cultural practices.
In effect, we lived in their home and relied on them for safety and protection. We were routinely involved in direct combat operations and were often ambushed in unfavorable areas. Throughout it all, our interpreters and Afghan allies were there, by our side; supporting the mission and fighting with us. Over the years we have all kept in touch with our friends as we transitioned to a peaceful homeland, and they continued the mission - year, after year, after year.
Over the past several weeks several of these men and their families (all of whom have young children - the youngest is 9 months) were forced to undergo a terrible experience through some of the worst hell they've experienced in a life lived within a warzone - they have never lived in a land of peace. They endured crowds of panicked people, trampled children, killings, and beatings, and sweltering heat. For six days they attempted to get through the gates at HKIA with a flight, being listed on manifests, and having been granted a temporary solution in Hungary (this is still an issue). Throughout this ordeal, our men demonstrated bravery in the face of violence and suffering, courage where others would show fear, and a determination to live that very few people will ever have the displeasure of knowing.
These men served our nation in war. They have seen more combat, wearing an American uniform, and flag, than nearly any combat veteran most of us know. They are as much a part of the American war effort as we are, and deserve a better life. However, they have all been forced to leave homes, careers, lives, families, and a homeland they love, behind - potentially forever. They need our help now.
In time, we will tell more about this incredible story and the amazing things our friends endured as they were among the lucky Afghan’s to make it inside those gates. For now, we would like to request any assistance you can possibly spare to help our friends and allies attempt to rebuild a broken life - it is the absolute least we can do to help those that risked, and lost it all.
Funds will be utilized to assist interpreters who served the United States and Hungary on OMLT Missions in resettlement efforts including legal fees, travel, basic necessities such as housing, food as well as efforts to get the story of these brave men and families to those who need to hear it most.