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Helping the ‘Terps

I’ve been thinking for months about starting this blog, but one of the things that really got me moving was a recent comment on a bill that increased the number of Iraqi and Afghani translators and interpreters allowed into the United States. Our service members call them “‘terps” for short.

Translator on PatrolWhether you’re good, bad, or indifferent on our military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, there’s no question that local people working with our military are doing quite a service. Sure, the money may be good compared to their options, but my guess is that they’re motivated at least in part by the ideals that our country stands for. They do it at risk to their own lives, of course, and the lives of their families.

In January 2006, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006 created a special immigrant visa (“SIV”) for Iraqi and Afghan translators working with the U.S. military. But only 50 per year. Just 50. Last year, Public Law 110-36 expanded that number to 500 per year for two years. That lasts until October of this year, when the number will go back to 50.

There are a couple of bills in Congress to increase the numerical limits on translators again. And there are others to give support to Iraqi refugees.

I don’t know what the exact number should be, or all the answers on refugees. Here’s what caught my eye, though, from the comments on Public Law 110-36:

I am a United States Army NCO and I whole heartedly support the SIV Program. I have already sponsored 5 from Afghanistan, 2 already here and 3 more waiting for quota slots to open. I’ve gotten both here on the ground their green cards, SSAN [ed. SSN?], and jobs… they have since moved out of my house to make room for my next 3 and they are doing great. Most of the “TERPS” have friends who will sponsor them at their own expense (like myself) and the government need not spend anything. It’s just the right thing to do for those who have helped us…

We know what servicemember pay is like. We know that members of our military are already discharging their patriotic duty. But here’s an NCO who goes even further and gives space in his home to people in need, people who have already served the U.S., and who want to live a little bit of the American dream.

Why does he help them? “It’s just the right thing to do . . .”

Americans like this make me proud to be an American.

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[…] for July 4th, the first blog entry discusses the inspiring story found on WashingtonWatch.com of an Army NCO who has taken Iraqi […]


Definitely inspiring, and certainly ‘the right thing to do’.

I wonder if previous war efforts have resulted in similar bills, and demonstrations of compassion by service men and women…


How about helping the service personnel who comes back that needs help? The TERPS-SHOULD STAY IN THEIR OWN COUNTRY AND DEFEND THEIR FREEDOM THEIR? Why should our men and women risk their lifes-for those who will not stay in their own country and risk thier? Its the samething that happened in Viet Nam—the only ones -who are for it–is the rich people who are makeing money off the foreign service personel. Their is nothing patriotic about it. Haveing served in Viet Nam———I see how the returning war veterans get the run around, buy our own gonvernment. Again–why don,t you help a re-turning war veteran—they are the ones who need your help !


Hello I am Tony from Afghanistan I have been working for US Army since may/05 and I have applied for SIV and I am sure its right to those people’s life who risked thier lifes helping US Army helpled them make the mission successful and infact translator and interpreter’s life is always in danger in Afghansitan Some time we recieve warrning letters and phone call threat us to death why beacuse we are interpreter.
Thanks alot from your kind to pay attention.

Ehsan Faizi

In am working with US troops and fimily is threaten in here. so I need for your advise and your kindly and humanitarian help

Massodi LNL Afghanistan

Working directly with the US Coalitin Forces as a Local Natinal Linguist in Afghanistan. our life is at risk and seving for our country please help us out and please extend the SIV for the Afghanistan LNL. Thanks you very much. :)


matter of fact they dont give a damn for whats gonna happen to us (terps) here…

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