Let’s talk about translators because they’re going to die. The recent media coverage around Khizr Khan and Gold Star families is good. But, my heart goes out to the translators we’ve left behind. ISIL has killed many, Al-Qaeda has always killed them, the Taliban kills them, and it’s going to get worse the longer we leave them. These translators, many of them, have been on raids, firefights and have been present for some of the largest battles. They’ve seen more war than most service members have in their dreams. They’ve earned their freight to America, and we should embrace.
Maybe it’s my experiences as a Green Beret to make me bias. Interpreters who worked with the British Army are hunted down. What do you think happens to our interpreters? We work by, with, and through the local people wherever we go. But, the translators we’ve worked with deserve to come here, and they deserve help, too. Because it’s not enough to bring them here. When they’re here – they’re hung out to dry. Sadly, there’s also a ruthless cutthroat culture to many immigrants and newcomers in this country.
I had an Uber driver not long ago – he was a translator and worked with the Marines, as well as USSF. He spent nearly ten years working on a war footing. Yes, he’s in his home nation – but he’s fighting alongside Americans. He’s fighting oppression of the Taliban in his country. It’s fundamentally American to fight against an oppressive regime. America isn’t reserved for those who happened to be born here. Many of the translators who have been fighting with us are ideological Americans. They’ve put in the hard work to prove it. It’s got to be the toughest naturalization on the planet.
They will kill us, is the title of a recent New York Times article. “They will kill us” is what translators are saying will happen when and if we leave Afghanistan similar to Iraq. Here are two other articles that should make you upset:
These interpreters join in hopes of fighting for their country and to be freed from the turmoil of war. Many are promised eventual citizenship or a shot at it. Many are good, some are bad, a few of them kind of sucked. But they put in some dangerous work. Something I can’t say for most of the America. They’ve put in and need a return on their investment.
Featured image courtesy of www.telegraph.co.uk.