When Sher “Mark” Airy moved to the United States from Afghanistan this past month, he did not have much to his name. Him, his wife and three children moved into a small apartment in Fort Worth with no belongings, no food, and only a few mattresses to put on the floor to sleep on.
Luckily, his friend Adam Morgan, of Waxahachie, has made it a purpose to help the family of five get back onto their feet.
Both veterans to the U.S. Army, Morgan stated that he’s worked with Airy for the past 10 years fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan. Airy, however, has been fighting long before that, saying that the people there told him he was “working with the enemy.”
“We were stationed together as recently as last January,” Morgan stated. “I came home, and I knew he was a couple of weeks behind me. I told him to give me a call once he got here.”
When local villagers discovered that Airy was fighting with the U.S. Army, Airy said his family was in danger and he had to relocate them. They moved from Afghanistan to Kabul before settling in at the Paktika Province.
Airy said it took him five years to get his U.S. citizenship and come to America.
“I’ve done a lot,” Airy remarked. “I loved that job because I loved America. I’m proud of the work I’ve done with them.”
Airy brought his family with him when he moved to the southern portion of Fort Worth in January. Although the placement agency was supposed to provide the family with furniture, they told him “it didn’t work out,” and he had to make do with what he had. Airy provided his wife and three children two mattresses to sleep on the floor.
Twenty days later, Airy gave Morgan a call letting him know that he and his family arrived. He told Morgan that he couldn’t figure out how to work his phone.
“Nobody told him his Afghan phone and SIM card wouldn’t work over here,” Morgan chuckled.
As he spoke with Airy, Morgan learned more about his situation and sympathized with his family’s plight.
That’s when he decided he couldn’t just sit there and let them deal with the situation themselves.
“They’ve been here for almost a month, and they still only have mattresses on the floor of their apartment,” Morgan stated. “They literally have no belongings. There is no one else to help them.”
Morgan started an online fundraiser to help raise money for the Airy’s during their time of difficulty. Initially, he planned to get a handful of donations and was planning to expense the difference to get the Airy’s some furniture, food, dining room tables and a few toys for his kids.
However, after just four days, 23 people raised over $4,000 for the Airys.
“I’m just trying to get them on their feet,” Morgan expressed. “Get them sleeping off of the floor, get them an eating table, put some food in their fridge.”
So far, he said he’s been able to purchase several items the family has needed, including bed frames, a kitchen table, chairs and couches for their living room. He said he's leaving the fundraiser open for another week and he'll deposit whatever is leftover into a bank account he helped set up for Airy.
He said Airy has been very grateful for everything Morgan has done for them.
“If anybody’s friend moved within 30 minutes and they didn’t have anything, anybody would help their friends out,” Morgan expressed. “You’re not going above and beyond the call to do that.”
Morgan said he was in a position to help his friend because of the proximity of where they lived and by knowing him previously from active combat. However, he knows there are several others out there in a similar situation as Airy and worries what they would have done in the same situation.
“This is just one family, and I happen to know them and I’m in a position to affect their situation,” Morgan expressed. “There are other families just like them – other warriors who have gained citizenship, and they are still in the same boat, coming over here, sleeping on the floor in mattresses and maybe they didn’t move within 30 minutes of an American friend.”
“There’s still a need out there,” he stated. “He’s just one of many.”
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services web page has several community-based organizations that you can help donate to support families just like Airy's. To see how you can help, go online at www.uscis.gov.