NWS Panelists in Northern Michigan Helping Afghan Refugees

It’s been more than five weeks since America ended its longest war.

On Thursday night, experts on Afghanistan gave their perspective during the National Writers Series at the City Opera House in Downtown Traverse City.

Jack Segal, a retired foreign service officer who made 40 trips to 2002 and 2010, says it is our turn to help Afghan Refugees because many of them helped us.

“They did everything including putting their lives on every day to help our soldiers,” said Jack Segal, retired Foreign Service Officer for the State Department. “We could not have operated the military campaign without our interpreters, and they were there on the frontline, so we owe it to them.

Segal reports there is at least one refugee family who has started their lives over in Northern Michigan.

“They’ve been welcomed with open arms by the people who know of their existence,” said Segal. “We’re trying to keep it quiet of who they are for their safety.”

Another panel member, former Intelligence Officer Shannon Spann Debruyn, also helps Afghan refugees.

“I’m trying to get a family whose father worked with our forces in the early of the war, the daughter had to flee from Misar to have her baby in a nearby village,” said Shannon Spann Debruyn, former Intelligence Officer. “She’s been texting me pictures of the baby saying there is so much chaos, I don’t even know what to name the baby.”

So far, Debruyn has helped ten families and says each one is a small victory.