News & Resources

IRAP on NPR: American Dad Fights for the Afghan Interpreter Who Aided His Fallen Son

Today, IRAP was featured in an immensely moving NPR piece that highlights the dire need for action on behalf of America’s Afghan and Iraqi allies. Phil Schmidt lost his son Jonathan when Jonathan was killed in a firefight in Afghanistan in September 2012. Years later, Phil has now developed a strong bond with AK, the Afghan interpreter who worked closely alongside Jonathan. Phil and AK talk daily by Facebook or phone, and AK calls Phil “Pop”. Phil is working tirelessly to help AK with his Special Immigrant Visa application, to ensure that he makes it to safety in America. “I pray every day for AK and his family and for the visa number to come through,” he says.

IRAP’s Policy Director, Katie Reisner, serves as an expert voice for the story. “It’s unclear what exactly is holding these folks up,” she says. “They seem to be model applications. The bottom line is they’ve been waiting too long for an answer.”

You can read and listen to the full story here. Please share widely with your networks!