If you want to know the short answer to the question on how our Afghanistan war veterans feel about the Afghanistan withdrawal, I will give it to you right now: They are livid. But if you want to know more, then I encourage you to read through this piece as it will give you a glimpse into the hearts and minds of some of our veteran team members from Project Exodus Relief. Be sure to check out the other piece that showcases other team members.
The fall of Afghanistan has been like a gut punch to our veterans, the worst in recent times. Never in their rational minds did our veterans imagine that the US withdrawal would be as botched and chaotic as it unfolded before their eyes. They simply couldn’t believe it.
Watching the scenes in the news of Afghans falling off of airplanes as they held on for dear life was terrifying. Others couldn’t care less to wade in sewer water outside the airport, desperately trying to enter and get on a plane. They were doing everything they could for a chance to leave the horror that was gaining ground.
And then hearing that there was an explosion at the Abbey Gate outside the airport that killed 13 of our service members and countless others was beyond infuriating. But the straw that broke the camel’s back was when the US military was ordered to withdraw and leave Afghanistan completely abandoning thousands of American citizens, Afghan Special Operations Forces allies and high-risk Afghans.
This Is Not Us
The US withdrawal, the way that it happened, isn’t us… it doesn’t represent who we are as Americans. Americans don’t run away. We NEVER abandon our own. We simply don’t turn our backs on our allies. And we don’t sever trust and good faith from allied countries. This is why Project Exodus Relief rose to the occasion to right this wrong.
Our team is a volunteer org of retired Special Operations Forces veterans, other veterans, government contractors from various agencies and others that just plain respect the sanctity of human life. We bring an array of skills and operational expertise to the table and leverage it to rescue Americans and Afghan allies.Mike Edwards – Project Exodus Relief Founder
We have the responsibility and the obligation to do the right thing. Our Afghanistan veterans are hurting because their Afghan friends over there are in danger. They are losing local allies almost daily. It is beyond heartbreaking. This is what keeps them motivated to try any and every avenue possible to help these good and loyal people.
They Believe In Us
The Afghan people know that we care. As a collective, even though we agreed that we couldn’t be there forever, we wouldn’t have abandoned them in this way. They are more in danger today than they were 20 years ago and even typing this is unfathomable. They reach out to us daily with cries for help. Their desperation seeps through their every word.
But through it all, they remain so polite and humble. We know we failed them and they know we failed them and yet, they ask for help, not demand. My heart sinks when I read every story. I can only imagine what our Project Exodus Relief ops side of the team has to see and bear. This burden is not for the faint of heart and trust me, these guys are far from that!
The quote continues:
So, this Veterans Day, I will reflect on the past with fondness, and of all the heroes that I had the great honor and privilege to serve with, and continue to serve with in this current mission. We will not relent or waste valuable time in reflection, because we refuse to bring shame or embarrassment to our great country. We will continue to do what we have to do, and I will work with my team to free our friends.Dean
Our trained Afghan allies (SOF guys) are tough and strong, even though despair is creeping in as the days and weeks go by. They believe in us. They trust us and they know that when we tell them that we will do everything we can to get them out, they know that we will. See, these guys know our Afghanistan veterans well. They know that they say what they mean and they mean what they say.
As they have to avoid the dangers of the Taliban having to move from safe house to safe house, brave the brutal cold weather that is rolling in and running out of money for food, these guys don’t give up. They keep up their hope and their faith in us. Our Project Exodus Relief team as a whole has the strongest backbone that you’ve ever seen.
You have no idea what these guys are going through and are willing to do for their friends. They will not stop, they will not give in, they will certainly not take ‘NO’ for an answer. From the beginning of this project, my motto has been “No surface left unscratched, no rock left unturned.” This is because we are researching, approaching and trying anything and everything to help our American citizens, their families, visa and green card holders, our Afghan allies and more.
You Can Help Us
As you realize how determined and courageous our team is, you may be inspired to help and be a part of this historic and heroic act. You can help in 3 ways. You can:
- Donate to our trustworthy organizations (100% of your donation will go toward our rescue efforts).
- Spread the word by shopping for some of our merch. We have t-shirts, mugs, totes, stickers and more. They make great gifts. All proceeds go directly to our trustworthy organizations.
- Share with friends and family this list of Humanitarian Organizations and Groups that are selflessly helping on the ground.
- How Project Exodus is assisting Afghans in surviving winterHere we are, over one year later, and we, Project Exodus Relief, are still working hard at assisting Afghans trapped in Afghanistan. We are still grappling with the disastrous aftermath of this new regime’s cruel rule in Afghanistan. Afghan nationals and American citizens continue to contact us in order to be evacuated from the country.
- The Biggest Debacle in American HistoryI would say that after a year, we have had zero official correspondence from the USG (United States Government) about our SOF partners, who, as I’ve said before, have helped us rescue the Americans. Meanwhile, the United States Government has stolen 20 million dollars in processing fees for the 66, 000 Humanitarian Parole visas that
- Our Eyes on the Mission: One Year LaterI’ve spent some significant time over the last weeks thinking, sometimes unwillingly, about this anniversary. Iwas there, in Kabul, in August 2021 with my friends both American and Afghan, many of whom I consider forever brothers. We all believed in what we were doing. But more, we believed in each other. Every day, we checked