The Wall Street Journal

Notable & Quotable

Alana Goodman writes about a heroic Afghan translator stuck in the bureaucratic limbo of the State Department.

Alana Goodman writing in the Washington Free Beacon, Aug. 7:

Four years ago, an Afghan translator known as “Hafez” charged into enemy fire to help Marine Corporal Dakota Meyer rescue wounded American soldiers during one of the most famous battles in the Afghanistan war.

Meyer received the Medal of Honor for his courage in the battle of Ganjgal—the first living Marine to receive the honor since the Vietnam war.

But Meyer says his friend Hafez is still waiting to receive a U.S. visa he applied for years ago. The former translator remains in Afghanistan under daily threat from the Taliban while his application is caught in the bureaucratic limbo of the State Department.

“He stood next to me, by my side pretty much the entire time [during the Battle of Ganjgal],” Meyer, 25, said in an interview with the Washington Free Beacon on Monday. “He helped me carry my guys out.”

“If we can’t help get this guy back who sacrificed so much to bring these Americans home, I’m sure he’ll be killed,” he said. . . .

Gen. Joseph Dunford, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, signed off on Hafez’s application. The visa was also green-lighted by U.S. Embassy officials in Kabul, said West. The application then went to the U.S. State Department’s visa department for “vetting,” according to West, where it has remained ever since.



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