For those of us who served during the forever war in Afghanistan, our withdrawal just over a year ago will stay with us until we die. So many of us left pieces of ourselves in that country, literally and figuratively. So many of us served with and, in many instances, owe our lives to the Afghan partners we trained and fought beside.
It is a stain on our country that will take generations to fade and is a wound in my generation of veterans’ hearts that will never fully heal. And while there is some hope that perhaps we will get some answers as to what the hell happened with the new Republican majority promising investigations and hearings, stories like the one I’m about to tell you highlight just how broken our government has become.
It’s easy to become numb to the numbers we hear daily, statistics showing how far we’ve fallen – from the economy and crime to the border and failing test scores. So sometimes it’s worth focusing on one number or, in this case, one man.
Please grant Asylum for Abdul Wasi Safi, Afghan elite soldier who fought the Taliban alongside American soldiers. After a harrowing journey to escape, he’s detained at the border in Texas. @POTUS @GregAbbott_TX @StateDept @DHSgov pic.twitter.com/zWavMKyogE
— Ann (@Surviving_TX) December 1, 2022
Where Is The Mother Of Exiles?
Abdul Wasi Safi was proud to serve his country of Afghanistan. He trained with the United States Special Forces to become a member of an elite group of Special Forces Commandos.
He fought side by side with our most brave and lethal soldiers, fighting together for a common purpose and hope for his country. And then it all changed.
We’ve all heard the stories of Afghan units laying down their weapons and giving in to the Taliban with little to no fight. Abdul was not that type of man.
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He was still fighting the Taliban when we were frantically leaving his country, and when the last U.S. aircraft left, he was forced to go into hiding. Thanks to our administration’s negligence, we left the Taliban with the tools to hunt down and find men like Abdul.
Thanks to the biometric devices we left behind, the Taliban only needed Abdul’s fingerprints to identify and execute him for fighting with us. Thankfully, U.S. veterans did what our government wouldn’t and helped him navigate from safe house to safe house, getting him to Pakistan and eventually to Brazil.
Abdul traveled through ten different countries, all along the way getting robbed, tortured, and beaten. Still, he wouldn’t give up until he came to the country he knew in his heart would accept him because surely the United States would take him in.
A generation ago @ChuckGrassley was a hero to the Vietnamese evacuated at the Vietnam War’s end. Today he can play hero to the Afghans evacuated last August, the 300,000+ left behind Afghan wartime allies, & a generation of American veterans now suffering from #moralinjury 🧵
— Matt Zeller (@mattczeller) December 15, 2022
A Hero’s Welcome?
Abdul made it to our border, and while attempting to cross the Rio Grande in September, he was apprehended and arrested.
Now, just like how the Taliban has biometric data on men like Abdul, so does our government, so one would think once Abdul was identified as a former Afghan Special Forces member, his request for asylum would be, at a minimum, considered if not granted.
Think again; instead, he was charged with a federal crime, attempting to enter our country illegally. The other 90 or so migrants he crossed with illegally were released because, apparently, we only welcome those who we don’t know into our country versus those we trained and who fought with us.
Abdul told Fox News:
“I was in a Special Forces Commando unit with the U.S. military. I wanted to come to the United States. I don’t select another country to help me because I was with them. But I come here, and they put me in jail.”
Service, just like in our country, tends to run in the family everywhere, and Abdul is no different. His brother Sami-Ullah Safi was a translator working for our military.
He got a special immigrant visa and became a U.S. citizen in 2021. So why can’t Abdul get citizenship?
Secretary Mayorkas says our nation’s immigration systems are “broken.”
Well, maybe they wouldn’t be if @JoeBiden didn’t ignore the border crisis!
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) December 15, 2022
Devil In The Details
Our government has a unique way of really sticking it to people over technicalities. For example, Sami-Ullah Safi worked for the United States military, which means our government paid him for his services.
Abdul worked for the Afghan military, and while it was our country that facilitated his training and it was us he fought with, he was not on our payroll. Thus, he isn’t viewed the same as his brother.
The Chief Operating Officer of the Special Operations Association of America, Steve Patterson, has been trying to find a way to help people like Abdul:
“We’ve been looking at finding paths to citizenship for them, looking at the federal level, but there’s not as much energy on Capitol Hill to get these things passed as we’d like to see.”
If you’ve never had the pleasure of serving with Special Operations units, you don’t know just how deep that bond goes. That family is tighter than marriages and bonds with their own children.
Abdul is one of them, one of us. Still, since it isn’t convenient politically, he now faces possible deportation back to Afghanistan and undoubtedly a painful public execution.
BREAKING: A huge migrant caravan of over 1,000 people crossed illegally into El Paso, TX last night, making it the largest single group we have ever seen. The city of El Paso reports Border Patrol now has over 5,000 in custody & has released hundreds to city streets. @FoxNews pic.twitter.com/ewUQX757Lt
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) December 12, 2022
One Man, Yearning To Breathe Free
Abdul’s story is more than just about a man fleeing for his life, hoping to build a new life in a country that promises freedom and fairness. Instead, this is a real-life example of how the federal government is not set up to emulate our values but instead is purposely broken to benefit those who care the least about our values.
In less than a month, more illegal immigrants are set loose on the streets of El Paso than Afghans who received visas who worked with us for over two decades.
Senator Chuck Schumer announced last month:
“Now more than ever, we’re short of workers…The only way we’re going to have a great future in America is if we welcome and embrace immigrants.”
Now more than ever, I’d say we’re short of heroes like Abdul. But does Chuck care about Abdul or even the immigrants he claims to want to embrace? I’ll let you answer that question.
Sami said of his brother’s feelings:
“He is deeply disappointed. And he is calling upon those who were always telling him, ‘We’re fighting against common enemy. We are fighting shoulder to shoulder.’ He is calling upon those who were calling him ‘battle buddy.’ He was not expecting this behavior from United States officials against him. He was expecting a hero’s welcome.”
Unfortunately, a hero’s welcome is what he got.
At the same time, the government pushes for student loan forgiveness for well-to-do college graduates. It makes it rain billions upon billions in far-off countries in the name of climate change.
We have Homeless Veterans across Nation. pic.twitter.com/oT0nSB8Yxm
— TheWarehouseGirlMAC (@GirlWarehouse) December 16, 2022
If our government officials don’t care about the thousands of homeless, thousands of victims of crime and abuse, and thousands of children and women trafficked into our country through our open border, will they care about one man who risked everything to fight for his country side by side with our own and then risked everything to come to the land of the free and the home of the brave?
Doubtful, battle buddy.
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