WASHINGTON, Aug. 25, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, veteran support organizations The Independence Fund, No One Left Behind, and Mighty Oaks Foundation announced the formation of "Save Our Allies", a new veteran and military support coalition focused on delivering full and timely benefits to U.S. Veterans in need, and in ensuring Afghan and Iraqi personnel and their families who supported U.S. forces are properly protected from violence and persecution by evacuation to safe countries, including the United States.
Each of these organizations have worked tirelessly in various elements of these priorities, from demanding the U.S. government live up to its moral obligations to protect the Afghan and Iraqi personnel, and their families, after they supported the United States Armed Forces operating in their countries to ensuring U.S. Service Members and Veterans receive the government benefits they earned when and where they need them as well as holding the U.S. government accountable where it fails to meet its obligations.
"The United States government has repeatedly failed to provide wounded, ill, and injured military personnel and Veterans the benefits and health care they earned in their service to their country," said Sarah Verardo, CEO of The Independence Fund. "The U.S. government is not keeping the promises of safe passage to the United States that it gave these Afghan and Iraqi warriors who served alongside ours knowing that the target this put on their and their families back with enemy forces such as the Taliban and the Islamic State."
"Despite months and years of warnings to the Department of State and Department of Defense that the shocking delays in processing Special Immigrant Visas for allied Afghan warriors would put them and their families in grave jeopardy, there is still no credible plan on how tens of thousands of Afghan people will be moved by the end of August, let alone the 100,000+ that probably need to be evacuated based on their history of supporting the U.S.," said JD Dolan, Board of Directors at No One Left Behind.
"'Save Our Allies'" is working to demand that U.S. Veterans receive all of the benefits they rate and when and where they need them, not when government bureaucrats want to get around to them," said Chad Robichaux, President of Mighty Oaks Foundation. "We must demand the U.S. government hold good on its promises of safety to the Afghan and Iraqi warriors who fought alongside U.S. and Allied forces, even though they knew it made them and their families target of terrorists around the world."
"Save Our Allies" has integrated the great work each of these three founding organizations has done to date in support of U.S. Veterans and Afghan and Iraqi Allied personnel, worked with elected and appointed government officials to deliver finally on the months and years of failed promises and added in the superior capabilities of other interested Veteran and military organizations to assist in these efforts.
To start this effort, the three founding members, along with 14 other military and veteran serving organizations, delivered on August 20, 2021, an open letter to every Member of Congress and the President of the United States, imploring them to
- Evacuate all Afghans at friendly controlled airports in Afghanistan,
- Dramatically improve and expedite the processing of Special Immigrant Visas for eligible Afghan and Iraqi personnel and their families,
- Accelerate the processing of those applications even more through a Department of Defense led Interagency Task Force, and
- Substantially increase the federal funds available to support the Afghan and Iraqi integration into U.S. society, both through direct support and through community grants.
The full letter can be read here.
In that letter, all 17 signatory organizations were united in their warning that many U.S. Veterans heard from the Allied and non-U.S. forces with which they operated, that, "America is great, because America is good [, but a]t this time, with regards to these fellow Afghan and Iraqi warriors, we do not believe America is doing the good it must, and so therefore is at considerable danger of losing some of its greatness. Please don't let this happen on your watch. Fix this now."
More information on how Americans can help on this effort can be found at www.SaveOurAllies.org, as well as information for other military, Veteran, and international relief agencies and organizations can work with Save Our Allies to protect both the benefits for U.S. Service Members and Veterans, and the safety of the Afghan and Iraqi warriors who fought alongside those U.S. military personnel.
Lexie Rock, Communications Director
Ashley Skinner, Communications Manager
SOURCE The Independence Fund