ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — It’s been over a year since U.S. forces pulled troops out of Afghanistan, leaving behind many civilians who assisted the U.S. in carrying out their missions.
Local organization Keeping Our Promise is fighting to get those families out of the country to start a new life in Rochester. The organization is budgeted to bring 50 families a year into the U.S., but they reached their limit in September.
However, the refugee families who have arrived since September were all thanks to a $50,000 donation from the Gannett Foundation.
On Tuesday night, one of those efforts came to a conclusion with a family from Afghanistan arriving in Rochester — nine years after initially applying for a visa.
Zar Mohammad Stanikzai was an interpreter for U.S. forces in Afghanistan. He finally made his way to the United States after his visa was destroyed.
“I can’t express the feeling I have right now,” he said. “Just very excited to be here in our new home with my new family.”