A former Air Force Civil Engineer is working to help people from Afghanistan get to America.
Steve Stanton is now a pastor, but when Afghan natives reached out to him asking for help, he couldn’t not try to help them.
“If there’s anything we can do to help bring more Afghans into country, I think that’s what’s driving most of us,” said Steve Stanton, for Air Force Civil Engineer and current Pastor.
Steve Stanton has been out of the air force for more than half a decade, but in August when US armed forces were leaving Afghanistan, many of the Afghan locals he worked with while there reached out for help in hopes of leaving the country.
“At first it was just getting them on the right lists, doing the right paperwork for them, making sure the state department had the right names,” Stanton said.
Helping the people of Afghanistan mean a lot to Stanton.
“There are situations when I was overseas where some of these people protected my life, saved my life, so when they ask for help to save them, I at least have to try,” Stanton said.
Since starting this mission he and other church members felt the need to do more than just help them with paperwork.
“We have a team of eight who’s sponsoring one family,” said Stanton.
Stanton is soon going to meet the family from Afghanistan that he’s been working to help get to the United States.
“We’re excited just to help them learn how to live life here in the United States, what cultural differences there are, we’re helping them navigate that. Finding jobs and employment for them, safe places to stay and mostly just being friends with them and to help them assimilate here by having a support network,”
For the bigger picture, Stanton is hopeful the United States is open to taking more Afghan people long into the future. Stanton says there are people in Afghanistan working to help people get out of the country, but also organizations right here, including Lutheran Family Services and Catholic Charities.