CHARLOTTE, N.C., Aug. 3, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The Independence Fund is proud to announce the inclusion of Afghan and Iraqi combat interpreters who served alongside American troops in programming eligibility.
The Independence Fund knows that the more than 800,000 brave men and women who served in Afghanistan can attribute a great deal of their success to the valuable addition the Afghan allies took to help protect and defend their country. Because of this critical assistance that was shown to our Servicemembers when they were deployed, we, as a nation, owe it to them to assist in their time of need.
“As the wife and caregiver of a catastrophically wounded Veteran who suffered life changing wounds in Afghanistan, I’m grateful that our organization honors these interpreters for the heroes that they are,” said Sarah Verardo, CEO of The Independence Fund. “Keeping our promise to our allies is the right thing to do and is an integral part of our national security.”
The Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program was created to protect Afghan allies who risked their lives helping U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Despite its promise, the program has been plagued by backlogs since it launched in 2009, leaving tens of thousands of Afghans in dire need of support.
The current Administration recently took steps to speed up SIV processing, making good on the U.S.’ commitment to help its vulnerable allies. Starting at the end of July and in the coming weeks, thousands of SIV applicants will be evacuated from Afghanistan and hosted at a U.S. government facility in Virginia, where they will receive services to help them rebuild their lives in the U.S.
There are more than 18,000 applications in the current pipeline, impacting a potential total of 53,000 individuals including family members.
The Independence Fund has already worked alongside valuable partners such as No One Left Behind, Inc., the Interpreting Freedom Foundation, and the Special Operations Association of America to provide critical aide to our Afghan allies in as many ways as possible. The Independence Fund is expanding program eligibility to Afghan SIV individuals and their families.
Since 2019, The Independence Fund’s Operation RESILIENCY program has encouraged unit reunions to include their interpreters living in the United States as valuable members of the formation.
In addition to fostering Operation RESILIENCY participation, The Independence Fund has opened eligibility to SIV families to include active case work, and financial grants specifically designated to food, housing, maintenance and travel related expenses.
Eligible individuals are encouraged to apply under the “Veteran application” tab at www.IndependenceFund.org
ABOUT THE INDEPENDENCE FUND:
Founded in 2007, The Independence Fund (501c3) is committed to empowering our nation’s catastrophically wounded, injured, or ill Veterans to overcome physical, mental, and emotional wounds incurred in the line of duty. The Independence Fund is dedicated to improving the lives of Veterans and their families by providing tangible impact. Through the Fund’s Mobility, Caregiver, Adaptive Sports, Advocacy, Suicide Prevention, Family, and Crisis Relief programs, The Independence Fund strives to bridge the gap of unmet needs for Veterans and their caregivers. The Independence Fund believes in fairness and equality for all veterans and families irrespective of race, gender, religion, and sexual orientation, and will continue to uphold these American values.
SOURCE The Independence Fund