“This military family loves refugees”
Meet Juli, her military husband, their son and daughter, and Bashir and his refugee mate. This photo is from Bashir’s visit to their home in San Francisco. “He wanted to come see the city.” More than anything, Bashir wanted someone to talk to. To share his story. “We talk a lot and we stay in touch. You forget how young they are, given everything he’s gone through. He showed us pictures of the tents they lived in and just kept telling us how horrible it was.”
Juli visits Sacramento once a month to see newly settled refugees. Having a friendly face to talk to makes all the difference. Sacramento, 2 hours from San Francisco and a lot cheaper, is a popular place for resettlement.
“Bashir was a baby [when Australia and the US decided to invade Afghanistan]. He’s only 22 now,” says Juli, who is disgusted with how the US and Australian governments have responded to people fleeing the areas our governments have engaged in combat.
Juli’s particularly concerned with the treatment of interpreters; those who worked alongside her husband, a Lt. Colonel US Army Nurse Anesthetist. “We feel a great responsibility to help those who have helped and supported us.”
Juli wears her compassion on her car with a bumper sticker which reads, “This military family loves refugees and immigrants.” “We think because we’re a military family, that will stop people from damaging our car. It’ll confuse conservatives,” she adds.
Juli’s family bought Bashir and another refugee, Sayed, laptops. “Not anything fancy, just basic ones. But they really needed them for job hunting and school—Bashir’s taking classes.” They also paid for some dental work for Sayed, just $70, but it was all he needed. “Sayed is older. He’s pretty independent.”
“They make a distinction between the people and the government. They look upon the Australian Government as doing this. Not the people.”
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