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Support for our veterans, citizens and Afghan partners

https://highlandcountypress.com/Content/Opinions/Opinion/Article/Support-for-our-veterans-citizens-and-Afghan-partners/4/22/70812

Every American is forever indebted to the warriors who have defended our freedoms on the battlefield. It is because of these heroes’ selfless sacrifice that we Americans are afforded the rights we hold dear in this country.

It is heartbreaking to see the recent images from Afghanistan. Whether a service member served in the War on Terror or another conflict, it is understandable that the recent events in Afghanistan may produce a variety of difficult emotions. They are not alone in this.

If you or a loved one needs help, there are a number of resources available, including:

• Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255, then Press 1 or visit veterancrisisline.net.

• Veteran Centers: A judgment-free environment for veterans to discuss how they are feeling with other veterans. Call 1-877-927-8387 or find one near you.

• VA Mental Health Services Guide: This guide will help you sign up and access mental health services.

• VA Women Veterans Call Center: Call or text 1-855-829-6636.

• VA Caregiver Support Line: Call 1-855-260-3274.

Additionally, my office stands ready to assist constituents and their loved ones. I have a team of caseworkers who specialize in issues ranging from veteran issues to immigration services and support.

Two months ago, I cosponsored a bipartisan bill that would expedite the Special Immigrant Visa approval process for interpreters and others who assisted the U.S. military. The United States' mission fighting terrorism in the Middle East could not have been successful without our Afghan partners. Local interpreters, contractors and security personnel were vital to our mission.

I am disturbed by reports from Afghanistan that the Taliban are not providing assurances for the safe passage of Americans and Afghan partners to the Kabul airport and am doing everything in my power to assist individuals on the ground with their safe evacuation.

Our allies and adversaries around the world are watching how the U.S handles the crisis unfolding at the airport in Kabul. There are still thousands of American citizens and countless eligible Afghan partners who stood with us in the Global War on Terror waiting to be evacuated. My office will continue to support these individuals until all are out safely, regardless of the Administration's arbitrary deadlines.

Again, if my office can be of any assistance to you or your loved ones, please do not hesitate to reach out at (614) 523-2555.

Congressman Troy Balderson was sworn in as a member of the United States House of Representatives in 2018 and represents Ohio’s 12th Congressional District. He serves on the House Agriculture Committee and House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

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