Afghan woman who helped U.S. troops is welcomed to America

Afghan woman who helped U.S. troops is welcomed to America

By Julia LeDoux

Roanoke Airport was the site of a special reunion as the Blacksburg, Va. community welcomed an Afghan woman warfighter who was part of a covert unit that hunted and captured Taliban leaders.

“I’m happy, just happy,” said Sima Aliazada after being showered with cheers, hugs and applause after landing at the airport on Dec. 8.

Aliazada was a member of Afghanistan’s Female Tactical Platoon. Each member of the elite unit was paired with an American servicewoman on a Cultural Support Team who mentored them. Aliazada’s mentor, Becca Moss, drove all the way from Atlanta, Georgia to surprise her.

Moss said the Afghan and American women conducted thousands of middle-of-the-night missions and gathered critical intelligence related to the Taliban that was critical to the survival and success of American forces on the ground.

“They were training to go on special missions to fight ISIS, the Taliban whatever the threat might be,” she explained. “If they were there in Afghanistan now, they would be hunted and probably killed for what they did formerly in their life.”

Army veteran Rebekah Edmondson, who now runs PenFed’s Afghan Rescue and Resettlement Program, served as a CST and completed four combat tours.

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