Throughout the Cold War, members of the United States military deployed around the globe in support of operations to prevent, mitigate, halt, or reverse the spread of communism. While well-known operations and campaigns were conducted in Southeast Asia/Indochina and Central America, many less well-known operations and campaigns were conducted across Africa and South American. All these operations involved indigenous units comprised of individuals who risked all to support the United States and its policies, and who believed that they would not be forgotten by their American partners.
In South Vietnam, several million men joined national, regional, or local defense forces, and at least one million of them were killed and wounded between 1955 and 1975. What happened to them and their families? During the Easter Offensive of 1972, nearly 3,600 South Vietnamese Marines were killed or wounded in the recapture of Quang Tri City. What happened to these individuals and their families?
If a South Vietnamese Marine was 20 in 1972, then he would be 60 today – if he survived the post war purges.
During the El Salvadoran Civil War of 1979-1992, more than 5,000 El Salvadoran Security Forces personnel were killed defending the country from Marxism in support of US policy. What happened to their families? If a Salvadoran Policeman or his widow was 25 in 1985, then they would be 52 today – if they survived post war struggles.
More recently, the United States has engaged in overseas contingency operations to defeat radical Islamist extremists and those that support them and their terrorist operations and campaigns in Afghanistan, the Philippines, Iraq, and Somalia. In support of these campaigns, members of the United States’ military have partnered with host nation forces as well as created local security forces with millions of personnel.
In Iraq, in Anbar Province, approximately 1,400 local police were killed by terrorists between 2004 and 2009. What happened to the families of the fallen? What support do they receive? In addition to these martyrs, several thousand were wounded in Anbar Province alone – with tens of thousands more killed and wounded across the country. What happened to them? What support have they received?
In 2006, the Ethiopian Armed Forces invaded Somalia in support of the US policy and the Global War on Terrorism. Though they overthrew the Islamic Courts Union, they suffered in excess of 2,700 killed in the process. What happened to the families of these fallen soldiers? What about the wounded, what support do they receive?
The on-going Mexican Drug War has resulted in the deaths of 1,000+ Mexican Police, Soldiers, and Rule of Law professionals. These individuals have families, some have widows and orphans, and all expect our thanks and support for fighting a war on behalf of the United States. What has happened to the families of the murdered policemen or prosecutors? Does anyone support them, or are they ostracized for fear that any who support them will suffer a similar fate?
Bottom line: The US has encouraged several million men and women with millions of family members to support US policies and war efforts over the previous 60 years, yet has largely forgotten them, their previous sacrifices, and their current plight. Our national amnesia must end now. Fund for Fallen Allies will never forget those that risked all to help America’s men and women during their time of greatest need – whether in Vietnam, Iraq, or anywhere else . We will find these individuals, and we will repay their sacrifice.