S.O.A.A. Save Our Afghan Allies

S.O.A.A. Save Our Afghan Allies

From LaMar Stellfox, SGM (Ret), USA

Thanks to your generous donations, we have been running rescue missions for the last 60 days. We have been able to extract SIVS and their families. We will not list numbers here, but they are significant.

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Recent Updates

Update #10

about 1 month ago

Please forgive the long delay in our updates. We have been deeply involved in negotiating both land and air efforts, and trying to get out as many as we could before the harsh winter months rolled in.

We continue to move groups through borders, focusing on those who are most in danger, and partnering with organizations who can help. At present, we are opening our doors to an organization who is focused on providing food, shelter, clothing, and medical assistance to those who are still behind in Afghanistan. The harsh winter has arrived and many of our friends have lost their jobs or have not been paid for more than 6 months. By all accounts, the food, heating, and safety situations on the ground are critical. Children are especially vulnerable, and babies, whose parents have been killed, disappeared, or kidnapped, need formula.

If you are more interested in the evacuation side of the house, we continue to move people. We have several ongoing operations, but as usual, we will not post them here. Operational Security continues to be of utmost concern. As we learn one way out, the TB are not long behind us, and that door closes. We find another way out, and again, they find out and close that avenue. The State Department is slowly, very slowly, getting out the remaining American Citizens, and American Residents. Our Allies (Special Immigrant Visa Interpreters and their families), are being moved at about 300 per week. At that rate, it will take 66 weeks to get them all out. That is right - 1 year and 3 months, IF the Taliban continues to allow it. IF they don't harm our friends in the interim, and IF the political factions in Washington don't change the terms of immigration.

So, we are working very hard to get as many out as we can before Christmas, and provide those we can't with food to sustain them during the wait.

Lastly, we understand that the automatic "Thank Yous" have not been going out to our donors. We truly appreciate your help and apologize for not checking on this. We will be working to send out personal thank yous to all our donors once the next two operations are complete. Again, thank you so much for caring about your fellow human beings.

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For 30 years I have served my country. Since 9-11, I have spent 11 of those years in areas of combat, first as an enlisted Soldier, climbing the ranks to Sergeant Major, then as a civilian contractor, training the Afghan Special Forces and Commandos. I have fought along side American friends and heroes, some of whom never came home, or only partially made it home. I disagreed with a lot of things over the years, but I never once doubted the integrity of our military. Today, I have spent 24 hours listening to the anguished cries of Afghans who supported us, fought with us, and died with us. For 20 years we told them that if they protect us, we would protect them. Their families would never have to fear rape, torture, or execution by the Taliban. We offered them Special Immigration Visas, which take up to 2 years to process. Then we told them it was all too late. 20,000 people are going to be slaughtered in the streets for helping us. Some of them are dear friends, who have saved my life. They are going to die for helping me, and protecting the United States of America.  Well, I am a Ranger. We don't leave Soldiers behind. And make no mistake, they are OURS. I am asking everyone who reads to make a donation, then share this link.

UPDATE: WE HAVE A PLANE TO TAKE PEOPLE TO SAFETY!! (won't say where at this point). We have a plan. We have security. 

What we need:  MONEY FOR FUEL and CHARTER!!!

ALL FUNDS FROM THIS CAMPAIGN ARE FOR THIS FLIGHT AND ANY TRANSITION COSTS WE CAN PROVIDE FOR.

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LaMar Stellfox, SGM (Ret), USA posted a new update:
about 1 month ago

Update #13

Please forgive the long delay in our updates. We have been deeply involved in negotiating both land and air efforts, and trying to get out as many as we could before the harsh winter months rolled in.

We continue to move groups through borders, focusing on those who are most in danger, and partnering with organizations who can help. At present, we are opening our doors to an organization who is focused on providing food, shelter, clothing, and medical assistance to those who are still behind in Afghanistan. The harsh winter has arrived and many of our friends have lost their jobs or have not been paid for more than 6 months. By all accounts, the food, heating, and safety situations on the ground are critical. Children are especially vulnerable, and babies, whose parents have been killed, disappeared, or kidnapped, need formula.

If you are more interested in the evacuation side of the house, we continue to move people. We have several ongoing operations, but as usual, we will not post them here. Operational Security continues to be of utmost concern. As we learn one way out, the TB are not long behind us, and that door closes. We find another way out, and again, they find out and close that avenue. The State Department is slowly, very slowly, getting out the remaining American Citizens, and American Residents. Our Allies (Special Immigrant Visa Interpreters and their families), are being moved at about 300 per week. At that rate, it will take 66 weeks to get them all out. That is right - 1 year and 3 months, IF the Taliban continues to allow it. IF they don't harm our friends in the interim, and IF the political factions in Washington don't change the terms of immigration.

So, we are working very hard to get as many out as we can before Christmas, and provide those we can't with food to sustain them during the wait.

Lastly, we understand that the automatic "Thank Yous" have not been going out to our donors. We truly appreciate your help and apologize for not checking on this. We will be working to send out personal thank yous to all our donors once the next two operations are complete. Again, thank you so much for caring about your fellow human beings.

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LaMar Stellfox, SGM (Ret), USA posted a new update:
4 months ago

Update #10

Update SEP 24

Thank you to all those who have donated and volunteered for this very important cause. We apologize for not updating sooner, but we have been deeply involved in operations to get our American Citizens, Green Card Holders, Special Immigrant Visa personnel, out of harm's way. When things slow down, and we can get more than a couple of hours of sleep per night, we will be personally thanking our donors. Until then, thank you for your understanding and patience. We believe you would rather we spend time saving lives, rather than writing thank you notes.

The good news is that S.O.A.A. has saved approximately 351 lives. Those people have been moved through refugee processing to the US (7 different states), and 9 different countries. We have paired with other similar minded groups to assist in getting out another 312, for a running total of 663.

At present, we are attempting to shepherd another 210, using both land and air evacuations. It is slow going. There are so many layers to these operations and each family we evacuate takes people at the US Department of State, Transportation Companies, Support on the Ground in Afghanistan, getting agreement from a country to host and provide a visa, and negotiations with various Taliban factions in control of the areas in Afghanistan.

We have partnered with many different groups and are working together to move people into positions of safety. It is expensive and time consuming. Each charter flight costs between $380,000 and $680,000.

We also continue to fight the biggest problem - the fact that the US has a legal limit on how many Special Immigrant Visa Approved Personnel (SIVs) are let into our country.

Yes, that is right. Even after they have spent the years interpreting for the US. Even after the 2 years it takes to be vetted by the FBI and CIA, interviewed, checked medically, historically, and legally. Even after they receive their approval to come to the US. Even after they receive their Visas, and are told to come to the airport. These people are being turned away because there is an artificial and arbitrary law which says only a certain number will be allowed to depart Afghanistan, regardless of whether the people of the USA have given them permission to do so.

As the most deployed unit in the US, 10th Mountain Division has a very close relationship with many of these interpreters. We have reached out to many of the Officers and Enlisted personnel who have personal experiences with the life-saving services these people have performed. 10th Mountain is in a unique position of having actual understanding of how devastating casualties would have been without Afghan citizens being willing to negotiate, in their native tongue, with a lot of the tribal elders, who were afraid to support us during the war, but became our friends due to the diligence of these interpreters. We continue to work with these American heroes to get out their Afghan counterparts.

Please continue to call your elected officials to pressure them to raise the cap, or do away with the cap for all Afghan SIVs. Continue to pressure them to pay for planes to fly our own citizens and permanent residents out. Ask them to pass a budget line item to fund a refugee airlift for all those we promised freedom.

Lastly, please pray for those who will not get out. We are running out of time.

LaMar Stellfox, SGM (Ret), USA commented on a blog post:
4 months ago
Volunteer request We are in need of a sponsor for a small group of female interpreters/activists who are in immediate danger. If you are

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LaMar Stellfox, SGM (Ret), USA posted a new update:
5 months ago

Update #8

We are continuing to get people out via ground extractions. It has slowed to a trickle, but we are continuing to move forward. 'JUST ONE MORE", by "ANY MEANS POSSIBLE".

Please write, call, and email your Congressmen and Senators to tell them to negotiate a humanitarian airlift for vulnerable Afghans who worked with our troops for 2 decades. The State Department has given a full list of these people to the Taliban. We have 48 hours left. Then, we must live with the consequences of what our government has done, in all of our names.

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LaMar Stellfox, SGM (Ret), USA posted a new update:
5 months ago

Update #6

Last night, we ended airlift evacuations for those we could help in Afghanistan. I have never been so honored by the people who stepped up to help. I have never seen a group of people work harder, sacrifice more, or be willing to put themselves at risk for others. People from California, the East Coast, Europe and Afghanistan, forgoing sleep, to get many through a walking nightmare.

We have spent the last 10 days holding our breath while our people walked families through Taliban checkpoints, crowds of tens of thousands, bribing bus drivers, gate guards, with the ever present threat of imminent death. We got people out in spite of the lack of cooperation from our own American government. Never once, in all the times we made it to the perilous gate, did an American ever let us in.

But we got in anyway.

The man in the video, which started us on this journey, is safely in a European country with his entire family. We will meet his plane when he arrives in the US. Thanks to friends in the US, he has a job and home waiting for he and his children to start a new life. We got people to 7 different countries, they are safe, will eventually make it here, and they will live.

Sadly, one of our top targets has not yet made it out. We are continuing to work that problem, quietly.

We will be using the remainder of the funds you so generously donated, to develop another route to safety for some of those left behind in last night's debacle, then turning to a resettlement mission.

Many in our group have offered to sponsor a family, or provide education, food, shelter, clothing etc. If we wish to help with that side of the mission, we recommend that you donate to No One Left Behind, They will be organizing whatever is needed to help them integrate here.

As we are a short-term evac team, we are going to remain focused on getting them out. So we are leaving our SOAA page open if you are interested in supporting our ongoing evac operations.

There are so many to thank, but most are refusing to be identified. I guess that is the measure, isn't it? Doing the right thing, with no glory, no accolades.

"Whoever saves one life saves the world entire."

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LaMar Stellfox, SGM (Ret), USA posted a new update:
5 months ago

Update #6

Last night, we ended airlift evacuations for those we could help in Afghanistan. I have never been so honored by the people who stepped up to help. I have never seen a group of people work harder, sacrifice more, or be willing to put themselves at risk for others. People from California, the East Coast, Europe and Afghanistan, forgoing sleep, to get many through a walking nightmare.

We have spent the last 10 days holding our breath while our people walked families through Taliban checkpoints, crowds of tens of thousands, bribing bus drivers, gate guards, with the ever present threat of imminent death. We got people out in spite of the lack of cooperation from our own American government. Never once, in all the times we made it to the perilous gate, did an American ever let us in.

But we got in anyway.

The man in the video, which started us on this journey, is safely in a European country with his entire family. We will meet his plane when he arrives in the US. Thanks to friends in the US, he has a job and home waiting for he and his children to start a new life. We got people to 7 different countries, they are safe, will eventually make it here, and they will live.

Sadly, one of our top targets has not yet made it out. We are continuing to work that problem, quietly.

We will be using the remainder of the funds you so generously donated, to develop another route to safety for some of those left behind in last night's debacle, then turning to a resettlement mission.

Many in our group have offered to sponsor a family, or provide education, food, shelter, clothing etc. If we wish to help with that side of the mission, we recommend that you donate to No One Left Behind, They will be organizing whatever is needed to help them integrate here.

As we are a short-term evac team, we are going to remain focused on getting them out. So we are leaving our SOAA page open if you are interested in supporting our ongoing evac operations.

There are so many to thank, but most are refusing to be identified. I guess that is the measure, isn't it? Doing the right thing, with no glory, no accolades.

"Whoever saves one life saves the world entire."

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LaMar Stellfox, SGM (Ret), USA posted a new update:
5 months ago

Update #5

Thanks to your generous donations, we have been running rescue missions for the last 5 days. We have been able to extract SIVS and their families. We will not list numbers here, but they are significant. We continue to assist evacuations through ANY MEANS POSSIBLE. Sadly, our government has abandoned many buses full of our friends at various gates around HKIA. We request that all of you reach out to anyone who might have someone who can assist.

At the end of the mission, we ill give a shout out to the amazing group of people who made all this possible. Please continue to share this page until we are able to bring ALL of our interpreters home!

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LaMar Stellfox, SGM (Ret), USA posted a new update:
5 months ago

Update #4

It has been an extremely trying 72 hours with three attempts at getting into the airport, and we continue to get these brave people onto the airfield where we can bring them to safety. We have slept little and communicated much with partners and supporters around the world. We hope to deliver outstanding news today. Our supporters in the UK assisted with a local fundraiser as, so the effort truly is on two continents now!! Thank you all so very much!!!

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LaMar Stellfox, SGM (Ret), USA posted a new update:
5 months ago

Update #3

The situation in Kabul is becoming more critical by the hour as chaos and security concerns reign. We are slowly building more more momentum and support outside of the social media blitz. Flights are being delayed on daily basis.

Don't let the $27,841 fool you we are receiving some pledges for more. Thank you all so very much for your support.

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LaMar Stellfox, SGM (Ret), USA posted a new update:
5 months ago

Update #2

We have amazing news!!! Don't let the $23,000 on the right fool you!

Several large donors have stepped forward to ensure the deposit we needed for Saturday, and a huge amount toward our full goal of $600,000.

Todd Smith, Healthcare Executive and Investor, has donated the entire deposit we needed for Saturday!! There are not enough words to express how grateful and relieved we are that these families are going to be able to leave their caves soon.

Todd Huffman, founder of 3Scan, who also spent a decade with DARPA, in Afghanistan, has pledged $100,000 toward the flight!! His generosity gets us one third of the way from Afghanistan to Turkey!

We are so grateful for these men, and all of you, who have helped get our people to safety! Let's keep this ball rolling!

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LaMar Stellfox, SGM (Ret), USA posted a new update:
5 months ago

Update #1

THE CARRIER HAS NOW REQUESTED A $75,000 DEPOSIT. PLEASE WE NEED THIS BY THE WEEKEND!!!

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