Answering the Call in Afghanistan, How It Began
In the lead-up to the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, Mark and Christine Antal received a call asking for help. An old Army friend, desperate to help his Afghan interpreter, a man who had saved his life and others more than once, asked Mark and Christine if they could help him reach the gates of the Kabul International Airport (HKIA). Mark, a special operations veteran, and his wife Christine, an Army veteran and national security lawyer, sprang to action.
With nothing more than two cell phones and connections with previous colleagues on the ground in Kabul, Mark and Christine maneuvered 41 individuals to the gates of HKIA in the span of three days. So that the U.S. service members on the ground would know the individuals were sent by the Antals, Mark and Christine gave the group a password, “Task Force Antal.” The families reached safety and Task Force Antal (TFA) was born.
Almost a year has passed since those hectic weeks in August 2021, but Task Force Antal is still working around the clock to help people get out of Afghanistan and provide those still in Afghanistan with the supplies and support they need to survive. Countless Afghans remain trapped in Kabul, Afghans who face serious and constant threats due to their connections to and work they´ve done with the U.S. Government and Military. Task Force Antal keeps these families alive and fights for them to reach safety. We provide these families with safe houses, food, medical supplies, transportation, and filing fees, as well as pro bono case management interfacing with the Department of State. Whenever a need arises, we find and move resources to meet it.
A critical element of our work is fundraising to meet the financial needs of those we protect. Our monthly costs in Afghanistan average $76,000 a month, and costs are rising rapidly. As the year has unfolded, and the withdrawal has faded from the mainstream news, funds have become more scarce but those left behind are no less in need.
We invite you to answer this call with us by giving to the Still There. Campaign. Join us in keeping people alive and safe from Taliban retribution, with safe housing and basic care, while they wait for their turn to be brought safely and lawfully to the U.S. We see miracles unfold every day thanks to our devoted volunteers and donors.
On February 24, 2022, Mark and Christine Antal received another call with the same request. Could they help get people out of Ukraine? The Antals said yes and a small element of the task force relocated to Eastern Europe to assist in the crisis. We continue to give evacuation and humanitarian aid to those on the front lines, working to defend their country, their neighborhoods, their families.
In Afghanistan and Ukraine, and wherever is needed, Task Force Antal will continue to fight for those left behind, for those who fought with us, for those who are in danger today and tomorrow. Join us.