Recently, I wrote an article entitled “Lost In Translation,” discussing the plight of Afghan interpreters who were abandoned by our government when it withdrew our forces from Afghanistan. I highlighted efforts by a group of Vietnam veterans belonging to a VFW in Avon, Connecticut, along with my daughter Carrie, to resettle a translator and his family who had escaped the Taliban and made it to this country. The term “it takes a village” was most appropriate when describing the communal effort to help this hero and his family adjust to their new world. In doing so, Carrie asked if I could help get them a used car to make said adjustment even more manageable. My article finished by asking readers to consider a deductible donation for this cause. I also sent personal letters of request to every VFW and American Legion in the county.

I’m happy to write that our objective has been met. We raised enough to purchase a 6-passenger van and will be delivering it to Connecticut shortly. The interpreter was grateful beyond words. This moving human interest story had a happy ending thanks to the Herkimer County Hunger Coalition, the Greater Herkimer Lions Club, a small but extremely generous group of donors including LFHS Class of ’60 grad Tom Prestopnik and, most importantly, Rudy Scialdo Jr. and Little Falls businessman Chris Anderson. Of course, thanks also to Dave Warner and for the publicity.

Sadly, no donations were received from the service organizations previously alluded to. Particularly disappointing was the Little Falls American Legion. A few weeks ago, I received a request from City Clerk Kira Miller on behalf of the Legion-could the Hunger Coalition make a donation to help in the purchasing of American flags for Memorial Day’s cemetery placing? I personally beat the bushes to raise $2,000. I would have thought that the Legion could have responded to my request – maybe a $10 donation at least.

But, that said, we got the car – a display of gratitude for a man whose services on behalf of this country, along with those of his brother interpreters, must never be forgotten.

Ray Lenarcic
Herkimer NY 13350