Who Am I?
I am James Seddon, a retired military veteran who served in Afghanistan from 2009-2010 who now lives in Southern California. In Afghanistan, I met many brave Afghans who risked their lives to help in our mission. The Taliban are currently hunting them.
Who Are You Helping?
The man, in the picture above with his family (one son couldn't be in the photo), served U.S. and allied forces loyally for over ten years and is in danger once again. He routinely risked attack "outside the wire" on our behalf. Anyone who helped us was, and still is, a Taliban target. Same goes for their families who the Taliban would seek for revenge or pressure. He served us because he believed in our mission and in a better future for his country and his family.
Now, he's been left behind and I am desperately trying to help him and his family obtain safe passage to the United States before the Taliban catch him.
Why Do They Need Help?
The Taliban have already stopped by his home and business looking for him. So far, he has been able to stay one step ahead of them.
I cannot share his name, or their faces in the photo, because it would assist the Taliban in their hunt. I can vouch that he is a real man who risked everything to help America and to serve his own country. He is married and has five daughters and three sons with the youngest being nine years old. They are unable to go to school and he is unable to work because of the need to be constantly on the move. I fear for the safety of them all.
This is a real family, just like yours except in terrible danger. One of his sons was born at the same time I was in Afghanistan. I am in contact with him nearly every day and his situation is dire. The picture of them above is real and taken in October, 2021.
One of our military's values is to leave no one behind. I have tried organizations and pro bono legal help but they are so backlogged that they cannot help in time. I have, out of my own funds, engaged an immigration attorney to assist as the best way to achieve this. It took weeks to find one with availability. So, far I've only been able to pay for the case initiation and a document review. It's just the beginning. The immigration filing fees charged by the U.S. government alone will total over $5,000. That does not include attorneys' fees, court fees, or other government filing fees or costs.
(photo: his eldest son)
What Your Support Will Do:
We will cross each bridge as we come to them. First, we need some legal funds to win Chief of Mission approval (the first step of the Special Immigrant Visa process). We will also start the Humanitarian Parole paperwork as the fastest path to legal U.S. entry. The SIV and HP processes work in tandem.
In addition to securing the attorney out of my own funds, I am also contributing significantly to this fundraiser. I am going to do much of the legal leg work to keep the legal fees down. I am fully committed. Unfortunately, I cannot do it all on my own. I need your help. More accurately, he and his family needs your help.
Any funds raised beyond the legal/filing fees will be used to directly benefit this family. Contrary to what some believe, the U.S. government does not really set up these families up with what they need upon their arrival. Transportation, furnishings, clothing, food...all this and more will need to be provided for.
Fund will be withdrawn from the fundraiser and sent to the attorney, for attorney's fees related to Humanitarian Parole and Special Immigrant Visa case processing, or sent directly to the U.S. government to cover the mandatory filing fees. Any funds gathered beyond those needs will be used to cover travel, safety, health, and other essentials associated with getting the family to safety. In every case that is possible, the funds will go straight to the goods or services required. Direct funds will only be sent to the family if that is the only way to cover the cost. In most cases, that won't be necessary. I'm taking this approach to ensure that any funds donated go directly to the effort to evacuate this family to the United States.
Time Is Critical!
This is a race between us and the Taliban. Will we raise the funds, file the paperwork, and get his family to the U.S. before the Taliban track him down?
Please help. It will honor my service as well as directly help an Afghan hero in need.
No Donation Too Small.
Each donation keeps hope alive for this family which is in desperate need of hope and help. A single dollar helps defray some of the cost and gets his family that much closer to safety.
Come With Us.
I will keep this fundraiser updated with our progress. Imagine today how good you will feel if we can succeed and you played a part.
(photo: One of the last pictures I took in Afghanistan as I departed)