I am Matt Zeller, veteran, author, and Co-Founder of a nonprofit called No One Left Behind. My interpreter saved my life in Afghanistan. AMA!
My short bio: My name is Matt Zeller and I am a US Army Afghan War veteran, a fellow at the Truman National Security Project, and author of Watches Without Time (Just World Books, 2012). My interpreter, Janis, saved my life in a firefight in Ghazni, Afghanistan in 2008. The Taliban responded by putting Janis on the top of their kill list. After 3 years and the assistance of numerous Congressmen and media outreach, I welcomed my interpreter home to the US in October of 2013. He arrived in the United States with basically only the clothes on his back. I created a GoFundMe page for my interpreter to help his family restart their lives in the US, and strangers donated close to $35,000 to help him. When I went to give Janis the check, he turned it down, asking me if we could start a nonprofit to help the interpreters who are still stuck in Afghanistan, and who arrive with nothing in the United States. I had no experience with nonprofit work. Two years later, I am now the Co-Founder and CEO of No One Left Behind, a nonprofit with 9 chapters in various US cities, and we have helped nearly 1,000 people resettle in the United States. However, we know that there are another 10,000 interpreters and their families still waiting for the State Department to process their visa applications. Ask Me Anything.
Thank you for all of your questions and support. I'm signing off for the night, but feel free to PM if you have any questions or want to help out. It was a pleasure. -Matt