Telling it like it is: Our Allies are Veterans Too.

Yesterday’s Washington Post really does tell it like it is. It’s important; no, it’s vital that you read it. Consider what combat translators/interpreters have done for us, and, more importantly, how much more we could and should be doing for them. We owe them that.

They protected and supported our men and women in uniform. They faced the risks and hardships of battle, and they now endure death threats to themselves and their families for working with us. Those threats are real and ongoing. These Afghan and Iraqi translators are real veterans just as those we typically honor. It’s time to acknowledge that fact and tell Congress to declare Afghan and Iraqi combat translators “Honorary” veterans.  That seemingly simple and appropriate step, while not triggering Title 34 or VA benefits, would allow 46,000 501c3 veterans’ charities to help these “Honorary” veterans just as they do all veterans. As veterans, our allies could also now check the veteran box on employment forms, giving them valuable veteran’s preference.  Simple and yet undeniably powerful, the wording is key and could mean the difference between us honoring our commitment and our allies realizing the American dream or not. The latter is unacceptable.

Of course, that only helps the many translators who have arrived since 2008. Right now, there are still over 14,000 interpreters overseas and facing the uncertain prospect of receiving the Special Immigrant Visa they so heroically earned. Meanwhile, they and their families live in fear and dodge death squads.  We at No One Left Behind work tirelessly to help our allies get here and settle into their new homes. There’s so much more work to be done.  

If you want to see firsthand just what it means – both to our allies and the Americans they served – to arrive and receive a hero’s welcome here to America, watch this video. This is what it’s all about. This is why it matters.

We need your help. There are several ways you can help us do what’s right.

Make your voice heard. Email your Senators and Representatives in Washington today and tell them it is past time to treat our allies as the wartime veterans they are and honor our promise to them. The link will get you where you need to go.

Donate to No One Left Behind. We are relentless in our efforts to help our allies. Your donations enable us to provide initial housing, food, transportation and employment services to newly arrived translators and their families to get them to self-sustainability more quickly than they could without us.  It is money very well spent.  Donate here: