In August 2021, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran and The Black Feather Foundation (TBFF) founder Joseph Robert III, received a call to join other military Veterans in support of the evacuation efforts of American Allies in Afghanistan. Forging initiatives with international allies and using networks within the Veteran community, these individual volunteers became a formidable team called Task Force 6:8 (TF 6:8), and were recognized as a CENTCOM asset to assist the United States Government’s Non-Combatant Evacuation mission. Over the course of approximately 12 days, the TF 6:8 group was pivotal in the evacuation of an estimated 12,000 American Citizens and Afghan Allies.
Candace Cieslo, a U.S. Army Veteran, joined the all-volunteer group in August 2021. She initially operated as the Female Engagement Team (FET) Lead in Emirates Humanitarian City (EHC), and eventually became the Site Manager for EHC. In her role, Candace coordinated efforts between the Afghan Embassy, the U.S. Embassy, Department of State personnel, and ensured the recently evacuated Afghan population had access to resources for their Asylum applications. Candace continued supporting the evacuation endeavor and is currently engaged in the subsequent resettlement efforts. Candace officially joined TBFF in its inaugural month.
Joseph’s and Candace’s dedication to help these Afghan families has been resolute. They have been intimately involved in each aspect of the rescue, relocation, and resettlement of thousands of families.
The Black Feather Foundation was formally founded in December 2021 and remains committed to seeing the original mission to its conclusion. TBFF continues to seek solutions to overcome the complex obstacles facing these families by collaborating with other Veteran groups and NGOs designing, building and implementing programs to assist families with transition and acclimation.
Even though more than 17,000 of the approximately 18,000 Afghan refugees have been relocated or resettled to countries in Europe, North America, and Australia, there is still a significant amount of work to be done. TBFF strives to remain agile in continuing our support in resettlement efforts and onward, while adjusting according to emerging needs.
The Black Feather Foundation is a 501c(3) charitable tax exempt organization est. 2021.