On January 6th, Afghan combat veteran Matt Zeller and Janis Shinwari, a former Afghan interpreter, will be speaking at the Barns of Rose Hill about their non-profit, “No One Left Behind”. The program starts at 2:00 pm. Admission is $8 in advance; $10 at the door; and FREE for all veterans.
In 2008, Matt Zeller, a U.S. Army Captain serving in Afghanistan, found himself in an ambush pinned down by an enemy fire. At that critical moment, Afghan interpreter Janis Shinwari and an American quick reaction force arrived to rescue Zeller and his team. Shinwari joined the fight just in time to shoot two Taliban fighters who had flanked Zeller’s position and were closing in for the kill.
Zeller was one of five U.S. soldiers Shinwari directly saved during his nine years of combat interpretation support to Operation Enduring Freedom. As a result the Taliban placed Shinwari at the top of their kill list in early 2009. Distressed knowing that the Taliban were hunting Shinwari and his family, Zeller appealed to the media, Congress and the Department of State to take action. Five years later, Shinwari’s case finally worked its way through U.S. Government bureaucracy, and in 2013 he and his family safely arrived in the United States.
In 2013, Zeller and Shinwari started the non-profit foundation “No One Left Behind”. The mission of “No One Left Behind” is to help Afghan and Iraqi combat interpreters with Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) resettle safely in the United States and be treated as the heroic veterans they are.