Throughout our 20-year war in Afghanistan, so many me and women from that country risked themselves and their Families to support American service members and units. In the telling of that war, those Afghans must not be forgotten. Their sacrifices and the risks they took on our behalf are so real, the consequences for them so stark; the debt we owe to them is so steep.
One of those Afghans is a 25-year-old woman named Zamzama Safi. "ZZ", as she is affectionately known, had a trauma-filled childhood. Her father was an officer for the Afghan Army, making her a target of the Taliban as a child. As a teenager she was captured and held captive by the Taliban, only to later reunite with her Family. She later served as an interpreter for American forces herself.
At the end of the American presence in Afghanistan, ZZ was able to leave the country, making her way to Saint Louis, Missouri, with the help of a group of American military officers alongside whom she served.
This is ZZ's story. It's a story of courage and triumph. It's a story of trauma and tragedy. It's a story we all should hear as we seek to make sense of our experience in Afghanistan.