Veteran’s Day is fast-approaching and we find ourselves observing it in quite an unconventional manner this year. See, on this day, we usually honor those that are currently serving and those that have served in the US Armed Forces with a sense of pride and gratefulness for their selflessness and protection. Many of our team members of Project Exodus Relief are retired veterans.
This time, I find it difficult to shake off the feelings of sadness and regret when I think about this holiday. It is as if a blanket of helpless shame fell on us in August of 2021 and it has been a struggle to get out from under its suffocating weight. What I am referring to is the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban, after 20 years of US presence and how quickly it has spiraled out of control.
A Team Like No Other
In August, we also had our ‘best of the best’ veterans rise up to meet a seemingly insurmountable need… the need to rescue American citizens (AMCITS), Visa holders, Afghan allies (Special Operations Forces) and those in direct danger… and they haven’t stopped, not for a minute. Project Exodus Relief was born from the fiery hearts of brave men and women that couldn’t bear to watch the fall of Afghanistan happen and do nothing about it.
Now, in just two short months (that have felt like an eternity to us), we have grown to become an amazing team of about 30 individuals. Most of them are veterans with incredible sets of skills and abilities that, coupled with decisive grit and determination, bring a professional and extremely capable group to the table that deliver results.
If you could be a fly on the wall for just a day and simply absorb what is happening in meetings and nonstop comms, you wouldn’t believe for a minute that these guys would be doing all this 24/7 for absolutely no pay. Our team is 100% a volunteer effort that is kept strong through a shared goal, which is to rescue as many AMCITS, SOF allies and others out of the Taliban’s deadly grip.
Afghanistan Is On Our Hearts And Minds
It breaks my heart to see so much pain, suffering and injustice happening in Afghanistan. But knowing that we are working this hard to do something about it gives me hope. My team gives me hope. They are a beautiful set of humans that inspire nothing less than absolute awe and respect. Our shared successes, no matter how small, are a big deal and we have grown closer than family.
It’s hard to take my mind off of how veterans are having a hard time about what is happening in Afghanistan. And how many that deployed there that cannot bear the thought that their friends, interpreters and fellow soldiers were left behind. And not just left behind, they have the biggest targets on their backs. The Taliban has their names on their lists and is actively looking for them to terminate their lives.
But then, I think about my team, Project Exodus Relief, and through the tears, a smile returns to my face. They truly are our modern day heroes. My life is better because of them. They have taught me how selflessness, determination, courage and badassery are the hands and feet that get things done. So this is my word for you all:
To My Team Members of Project Exodus Relief who are Veterans
We are living in extraordinary times and these demand that extraordinary people rise up to right the wrongs that are destroying lives on a minute-by-minute basis. It’s imperative that we must always remember that, as Americans, we are a resilient people, full of resolve and grit.
We have a special way of keeping fresh and open the paths that lead us back to our lives, our families and our friends. But we never shy away from the unknown. We are not afraid to venture into the darkness with courage, at the face of having to operate in some of the most strenuous situations of our recent times.
We always know two truths that never waver in our innermost souls. One is ‘Things will get worse before they get better.’ It is always darkest before the dawn. And two is, ‘Dawn WILL come.’ It always makes its subtle appearance and, in time, becomes so radiant that even our eyes must adjust through the death and destruction to its brightness and beauty.
So I say to you, my friends, all will be well. Always trust God. The breakthrough is just around the corner. All good things take time. They take effort. It requires that you stand firm and guard your resolve with all you’ve got, to the point that they can’t even pry it out of your dead hands. We are all in, no matter what. That’s what makes us a team. That’s what makes us Project Exodus Relief. And I am proud of you. Happy Veteran’s Day.
If you would like to learn more about Project exodus Relief, please read these articles:
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Help Our Efforts In Afghanistan
Would you like to help save people from the Taliban’s reign of terror? Donate to support our rescue operations and help save an Afghan life. Your money will support immediate evacuation and keeping refugees fed, watered, and in warm clothes while they await a bird to fly them to safety.”
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