U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), a veteran of the Global War on Terrorism, spoke on the Senate floor to raise awareness for the hundreds of American citizens, Green Card holders, and SIV-eligible Afghans that remain left behind enemy lines following the Biden administration’s disastrous exit from Afghanistan. Ernst encouraged all Iowans, and Americans, to wear a green ribbon over the holidays to raise awareness on the importance of taking action to get these folks home or brought to safety.
Senator Ernst’s full remarks are below:
“Mr. President, I’m glad to be on the floor today joined by my colleagues Senator Richard Blumenthal and Senator Lindsey Graham.
“We all saw and remember the horrific images from this past summer, when Afghanistan fell into the hands of a brutal Taliban regime.
“It was a difficult time for many of us…especially our veterans and Gold Star families, and the families of the 13 servicemembers we lost during that disastrous exit, including the family of Marine Corporal Daegan William-Tyeler Page of Red Oak, Iowa – my hometown.
“These heroes must never be forgotten.
“While the tragic exit from Afghanistan may have moved off of the front pages, and while it may no longer be top-of-mind for many Americans here at home, the devastating situation in Afghanistan is all too real for the hundreds of American citizens and allies who we left behind.
“The reality is, right now U.S. citizens, Green Card holders, and SIV-eligible Afghans are still stranded behind enemy lines in Afghanistan.
“I am furious over the mishandling of this administration’s exit from Afghanistan. It was a disaster, from start to finish.
“Now, America has a duty and an obligation to get these people home or brought to safety – plain and simple.
“To those who are stranded in Afghanistan today, my message to you is clear: I have not forgotten you. America has not forgotten you.
“As my colleagues pointed out already, we are trying to find ways to remind Congress, the administration, and the public of those Americans who are still stranded in the country. And the importance of taking action to get them home.
“As a way to remind those around that our fellow Americans are still stranded, and that we need to get them home, I am encouraging Iowans and all Americans to join me, to join Senators Graham and Blumenthal, in wearing a Green Ribbon this holiday season.
“We must ensure that America does not forget those who this administration has left behind.
“I’m proud to join my colleagues today – Democrats and Republicans – to ensure we keep the pressure on and to get these people – including our fellow Americans – home at last.
“We cannot, and we will not, let them be forgotten.