(Explanation by Bev Farmer of Podenco Friends_. We truly hope that by tomorrow morning there is some good news for Nowzad and the evacuation of their team and the dogs and cats
Here is some insight about Nowzad and how it began not just rescuing abandoned dogs and cats from the streets. That the animals of Nowzad are truly life-savers. Many who been reunited with their Veterans from combat have kept their comrade alive, when the black dog of PTSD and depression looms around the corner.
To think these dogs and cats may be euthanised, they are so close to freedom and a better life but certain people are preventing this happening . They include a dozen British embassy cats — such as Mr Grey, Chopsy, Sweep, and Scar — which were dumped by British diplomats.
Those who prevented this flight of freedom will never be forgiven.
From Melissa MontagueRaise 4 Nowzad
My husband has given me permission to share this letter that I want to share far and wide because this is a voice representing thousands and this is what Nowzad means to our veterans (I told you he was so much more eloquent than I am!). Rest well Nowzad army, hoping for better news tomorrow (25/8/2021)
Letter from a Veteran of Afghanistan
I am a Royal Marine Veteran who served on the frontline in Afghanistan 2006-2007.
I write with heartbreak and exasperation to name just a few of the fraught emotions I have felt over the last few weeks seeing the freefall into utter chaos and desperation that so many of my comrades and the people of Afghanistan fought tooth, nail and heart to build-up over the last 20 years.
The mistakes and the choices from those in the high positions of authority and the turning of backs over the last 18mths can be argued and reviewed on another day. Today and tomorrow is our priority, we need to deal with the present. And that means saving as many lives as possible and finding some light in the darkness of this situation for those that in the highest echelons of Washington, the MOD and Whitehall sadly choose to neglect.
The soldier in combat yearns for home. Yearns for the smell of mum’s roast dinner not eaten from a bag. Yearns for the quiet of a lazy Sunday without the noise of gunfire and mortars, yearns for a walk down the street without the threat of a mine or an IED that would change his and his mates lives forever, yearns for a deep sleep without having to keep one eye open, years for safety, security and comfort that is home.
In 2006 in a small compound in the town of Nowzad, exposed to the Taliban and the impending winter, myself and my brothers of K-Coy Royal Marines led up. It was as far away from home as you could imagine and sadly two of our guys didn’t make it back there, with many others baring wounds seen and unseen, I also had my own emotional and physical scars.
But in the midst of our time in that dusty, dirty compound, sleeping in bullet and blood-stained cells, a roughed-up dog came into our lives and made his home with us. After being rescued from a fight with other strays by our Sergeant ‘Pen’ Farthing, the dog was aptly named Nowzad. He was cared for by Pen and built a space with us to live in. As you watched this fella with a new lease of life bouncing round, playing and loving being loved, it was not only a great comfort and distraction from combat, but bought a profound sense of ‘home’. It is no surprise that in our next outpost in Kajacki we befriended another dog called ‘Tangey’ who would even join us on patrol.
You may think of this just a superficial story that ends when the operational tour ends. But I want to say that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Over 1600 dogs and cats have been reunited with their soldiers from Afghanistan because of the tireless work of Pen and his team of Afghan staff. And these are not ‘just’ animals. These were comrades, comforters, companians to us. These animals provided lights in the darkness of an ongoing battle and a sense of home away from home. They provided grounding and purpose away from the chaos of battle and might I say someone to care for and love so far away from our loved ones. They were not simply pets and not simply animals but in so many ways much more as they put smiles on solemn faces, lifted morale when the well was dry and the feeling was always mutual.
I can boldly say that the animals of Nowzad are truly life-savers. I have no doubt that many who been reunited with their Veterans from combat have kept their comrade alive, when the black dog of PTSD and depression looms around the corner. And it is why other animal charities are linked with the armed forces provide dogs and cats for wounded Veterans who have experienced injury and illness as part of their ongoing therapy.
So when many many people profess, call and lobby with heart, vigor and passion for Pen, his team and his troop of animal soldiers to be bought safely ‘home’. When external supporters provide all the resources and everything possible to provide a plane, a plan and a mission to bring them all to Britain without any cost to our nation. When Penn says I will leave none of my team behind. Perhaps you might understand the reason for this fight.
The least our government can do is grant them safe passage. Perhaps another light in this darkness, another story of hope.