MISSOULA — US Senator Steve Daines is encouraging Montanans to open their hearts and welcome refugees who are fleeing the Taliban's takeover in Afghanistan.
Sen. Daines made the observation Monday after meeting with some refugee families and then having a follow-up roundtable discussion with veterans, and members of Missoula's International Rescue Committee.
The veterans told Sen. Daines of their concern over the safety of the many Afghan people who served as advisors and provided assistance during America's 20-years of military operations.
The soldiers agreed that the refugees should be welcomed with "open arms" for their dedication, and be treated with the same respect as other veterans. Afterward, Daines said the U.S. needs to make sure the refugees are "properly vetted", "confirming they were on the battlefield literally saving American lives."
"These are refugees that love America. They risk their lives for our country. And it's our duty to ensure that they are allowed a way to get away from the Taliban. Had they stayed there, they would have been killed. This gentleman I spoke with this morning here in Missoula said 'I would have been killed," Sen. Daines said.
"My wife would have been killed.' And their beautiful little one-year-old who was there in the meeting would have been killed as well. They are grateful to be in America. They love our country and as Montanans, we need to welcome them and thank them for what they did to help us in Afghanistan," he continues.
Sen. Daines is asking veterans to help with contacts and other information that might help others get to safety.