The Christian Science Monitor

They aided US troops at war. Some found safety here. Why are others left behind?

The bomb exploded beneath the armored truck on a dirt road in southern Afghanistan. Jawad Khawari recalls staggering from the mangled vehicle with four or five US Army soldiers. They carried one American, the truck’s gunner, clear of the wreckage. He had taken his last breath.

Mr. Khawari, an Afghan serving alongside US troops as an interpreter, suffered a concussion and temporary hearing loss in the blast in 2010. Some months later, on another mission, he was shot in the leg. He considered his injuries the cost of pursuing peace in his homeland.

He signed up for the role and the risk as a 19-year-old in 2009, eight years after American forces invaded Afghanistan and toppled the Taliban in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. A close friend’s death in a suicide bombing instilled in the teenager a sense of duty.

“I didn’t want to see any more innocent people dying like that,” says Khawari, who embedded with American troops for three years before joining the US Agency

Trapped in SIV limbo‘People want to help’

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