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Saving Aziz

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Saving Aziz is a book EVERY American should read. Thanking God there are people like Chad Robichaux in this world. Gripping from the first page, left me angry at times over the mishandling of these events but to read about the degree others went to in helping Aziz, his family and others; gave me so much hope for this volatile world!!!
Chad; well done good and faithful servant.....
Thank you, Net Galley and Nelson Books, for the opportunity to read this wonderful book.

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When the United States withdrew from Afghanistan and the Taliban took over, thousands of Americans and allies were left behind with little hope. This book shows what led up to the withdrawal, how Chad Robichaux and others rescued his interpreter and family, and how NGOs (non-government organizations) formed to save those in danger and plan escape routes, as well as the geopolitical consequences.
I wish every American would read this book. I have been trying to help Afghans since the fall of Kabul, and it's been nearly impossible. This book reflects what I have learned about Afghans and their culture: they are kind, gracious, humble, hard-working, and love their families. They are not the Taliban. They suffered under the Taliban over twenty years ago just as they are now. They relished their generation of freedom, and they love America. Reading this was absolutely gut-wrenching. Every time I thought I knew the extent of the horrors of the Taliban takeover, I learned more tragic facts. I also learned why Afghanistan is such a strategic place regarding power and imports. This book also dispels misunderstandings about the war and what our mission in Afghanistan was up to the withdrawal. Read this book. Tell others.

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Saving Aziz is a story about the withdrawal from Afghanistan and the mission to rescue allies. Robichaux tells the hurdles and roadblocks encountered to save Aziz and others amidst the chaos following the withdrawal.

The book seems to ramble a lot and I had difficulty focusing on the actual mission. Military terminology was also a challenge for me.

This book is not for you if you do not want the unvarnished truth as told from the viewpoint of someone who was there.

A copy was provided for my review. All opinions are my own.

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This was a really interesting read. There was a lot of chaos when the US announced we were leaving Afghanistan, but I didn't realize what a logistical nightmare it was.

Fans of 13 Hours, this book is similar as the author details their plans to get allies and passport holders out of Afghanistan as the Taliban increasingly took hold of the country.

It was a fast-paced read, and my heart breaks for the nation of Afghanistan. Readers of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns will also, I think, enjoy reading this memoir as 'average joes' stood up to help in Afghanistan when our government failed. You're not reading about these rescues in the mainstream media, that's for sure.

I received an advanced copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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The Trump administration established terms the Taliban had to meet for the withdrawal, while the Biden administration announced only a date. Mark Meadows told of a conversation between President Trump and the Taliban's number two, Mullah Baradar, made it clear the Trump administration had a different intention. President Trump and Vice President Biden announced America's withdrawal date without terms, forfeiting control of our negotiating power. This allowed the Taliban to develop strategies and begin positioning themselves to do what they wanted as soon as our last flight left Kabul. It also allowed nefarious intelligence agencies like Pakistan ISI to help the Taliban's planning and make plans for their self-serving interests in an Afghanistan free of the US and our allies' militaries.

This book will be a good book in the nearest future, that's when the beauty of the present day stories will make more sense to the coming generations.

I'm giving it 3 stars.

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Be prepared. Emotions, not pleasant ones, but rather guilt, anger, sorrow, pity, frustration, and shame, will overwhelm you. The shameful actions of the President of the USA that catalyzed this story became even more clearly horrifying as the book went on. Perhaps that’s the most terrible part of this story, the knowing before hand what’s going to happen, the helplessness and despair. Because our country is so culpable in that disaster, it’s hard not to feel guilty. But you will also learn to respect individuals and their integrity as you get to see their selfless actions displayed against such evil. Their actions will spur you on to stand for truth and justice in your own life.
Unfortunately, the first half or so of this book is highly repetitive. He points out the mistakes being made over and over, as well as the effects they have on Afghans, our military, and veterans. Perhaps, this is because of the chaos and frustrations of those days, but it did make it hard to follow the time line as it kept jumping back and forth to the roots of the problems they faced. You really do get a feeling of the desperation and pandemonium they were working through, though.
Based on the publisher I was prepared for a Christian book. Robichaux is very clear that faith is a huge part of his life. Unfortunately, aside from a few mentions of prayer and how deeply he holds his faith and how it has brought him peace, Christianity is almost never mentioned. The Gospel is completely missing. That was disappointing.
I received this as a free ARC through NetGalley and Nelson Books, Thomas Nelson. No favorable review was required. It was my honor to provide my honest opinions.

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Great book, engaging, thought provoking. A personal tale of faith and the mission to save as many people from Afghanistan as they could, with God’s help. Well written and accessible and well organized with thought provoking conclusion with a sparse amount of politics and geopolitical history.

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I rarely ever read a book about the military. As a Christian who takes literally what Jesus said in Matthew 5 about loving your enemies and doing good to those that hate us, I have a hard time understanding how it can be right for a Christian to serve in the military. When I requested Saving Aziz for review, I did not realize that the author was in the military. I came away from this book, though, with a great admiration for him and his drive to help people.
Chad Robichaux worked in Afghanistan for a number of years after 2001, helping to free the country from the Taliban. He worked very closely with Aziz, who was his interpreter. They became as close as brothers. Chad was forced to return to the United States when it became too dangerous for him in the Near East. After his life fell apart, God met him. He found a new direction in his life. Then came Biden’s announcement in 2021 that the American military would be pulled out of Afghanistan.
During the disastrous aftermath of that announcement, Aziz contacted Chad for the first time in years. His life, along with that of every Afghan who had worked with the American military, was in grave danger. Could Chad help Aziz to flee the country? The mission to help one man turned into  a major effort, a new calling on Chad’s life, to rescue thousands from the clutch of the Taliban.
A lot of Saving Aziz was very uncomfortable to read. It’s hard to believe that human beings can inflict such horrible suffering on other people. There is a lot of hope, however, as well. Chad relates how God worked to open doors to so that thousands of people could be rescued. I’m still baffled as to how a Christian can believe it is right to kill other people, but there is no doubt, based on the story, that Chad has a love for God and is living for Him.
I received a review copy of this book from NetGalley, and these are my honest thoughts about it.
WARNING: Over and over throughout the book, violence, including shooting, beheading and rape, is mentioned. One chapter describes the “killing pool“ that Aziz showed Chad near the beginning of his time in Afghanistan. There’s also some language, but not much, and it’s mostly words like dang.

Note: This review will also appear on in 4-6 months.

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Saving people from Afghanistan is important and basically the duty of all those countries who sent their military there. After 20 years the country fell back to the Taliban and all they did there will be lost very soon.
The adventures while saving people are really interesting and enlightening, but are are described in a too lengthy and wordy way.
It's only natural that the author is patriotic and proclaims that without America there's no free world. Personally I doubt that American interventions made the world safer or more free.

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Saving Aziz by Chad Robichaux
What a great book! I think the whole world watched the video of the plane leaving Afghanistan with people clinging to it, and then falling off as the plane rose in the air. This book tells the story not just of the saving of Aziz and his family, but also a mission to help save veterans and the military community with PTSD and life issues. Save Our Allies became the next mission to help save interpreters, family members and so many others that needed to be rescued. It’s hard to imagine that so many were left behind in such a hostile environment. It also is hard to believe that it’s so difficult to get the help and paperwork done so that these people can be rescued. It’s awesome and amazing that there are organizations like this that can and do help so much. ‘We are all part of mankind, and when we have the ability to do the right thing for our fellow man in their most critical moment, we must!’ That’s what it’s all about. I highly recommend this book!
I received a complimentary copy from Nelson Books through NetGalley. The opinions expressed here are my own.

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Robichaux' lunt writing about military matters and our government's actions in Afghanistan may make you angry but read this book. It's a detailed and inspiring account of the author's massive humanitarian effort to save Afghanis after the US withdrawal. With over 15,000 saved at the time of the book's writing, it's a great testament to these efforts.

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It was the right thing to do. And someone had to do it.

This is Force Recon Marine Chad Robichaux’s story about rescuing his interpreter from Afghanistan once President Biden announced that America was withdrawing. After 8 deployments to Afghanistan, Robichaux considered Aziz a friend and a teammate and upon hearing Biden’s evacuation plan, he knew he had to get Aziz out of the country before the Taliban took over.

The story of Aziz’s rescue began as just that - a plan to rescue Aziz and his family. It quickly grew into a calling. ‘Saving Aziz’ highlights Robichaux’s mission to rescue Aziz along with 17, 000 evacuees in a matter of weeks. In fact, 12,000 of those rescued were taken to safety within the first 10 days. It’s an enlightening account of how people with different nationalities, beliefs and religions, worked together to do the impossible. You’ll read about how a Jewish organization donated $1.6M through a Christian nonprofit to help rescue Muslims, the incredible generosity of the UAE both monetarily and in providing planes and temporary shelter, and about a group of heroes who, rather than complain about the withdrawal plans, stood up and risked their lives to rescue the thousands of people who were left to face the Taliban regime alone.

I devoured this book in one sitting and had goosebumps reading about how “looking into a stranger’s eyes breaks down prejudice and apathy” and why “risking it all is worth it when it comes to loving one another.”

I may not be American and I may not have understood all the politics discussed, but I appreciated Robichaux sharing his point of view and enlightening the rest of the world what really happened after April 14, 2021. He claims America was “set up for failure from the onset of the withdrawal.” Considering what he gave and what it cost him, I felt I needed to ‘listen’ to what he had to day. There are many sides to a story. It behooves us all to learn from all those who were involved.

I also read Mitchell Zuckoff’s ‘The Secret Gate’ and was shocked at the courage and sacrifice.

I was gifted this copy by Thomas Nelson and NetGalley and was under no obligation to provide a review.

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Saving Aziz
How the Mission to Help One Became a Calling to Rescue Thousands from the Taliban
by Chad Robichaux
Pub Date 17 Jan 2023
Nelson Books, Thomas Nelson

I am reviewing a copy of Saving Aziz through Nelson Books , Thomas Nelson and Netgalley:

It started as a prayer to save a best friend, and ended up becoming a mission to rescue more than seventeen thousand souls.

Chad Robichaux a former Force Recon Marine details the incredible rescue missions that evacuated not only his long-time friend and interpreter, Aziz, but also more than 17,000 Afghans and allies who were left in the grip of the Taliban's violent regime as the United States military withdrew from Afghanistan.

Force Recon Marine Chad Robichaux and his friend and Afghan interpreter, Aziz, carried out over a hundred dangerous missions as team members on an elite JSOC (Join Special Operations Command) task force dedicated to capture or kill the highest levels of the Taliban's terrorist regime, during his eight special operation deployments to Afghanistan. It was during those years, Chad was welcomed into Aziz's growing family, and the two men developed a brotherly bond as they stood against the Taliban's violent oppression.

Fourteen years after Robichaux's final deployment, in April of 2021, the Biden administration announced that the United States military would end its twenty-year occupation in Afghanistan and would pull its military forces from the country by the twentieth anniversary of 9/11 Immediately, Robichaux knew he had to save Aziz and his family. As he began to organize efforts, he realized a greater need to help more of the Afghan people he had come to know and respect. As the deadline for withdrawal drew near, he formed a coalition of nonprofits called Save Our Allies and created Task Force 6:8, which consisted of twelve former special operations veterans, to evacuate American citizens, green card holders, and special immigration visa (SIV) applicants out of the volatile country. They successfully extracted 12,000 evacuees in a period of ten days and took them to the United Arab Emirates. Then, by partnering with several other nonprofits, they continued to evacuate an average of fifty people per day over the next few weeks so that more than 17,000 were rescued, the largest number for any rescue group and second only to the United States military.

After those rescue efforts, Robichaux carried out a two-man reconnaissance mission over the span of ten days that provided flight paths across the border into Tajikistan. Operating at night and tracked by the Russian KGB, they successfully evaded capture by the Taliban and Chinese special forces, and were the first on the ground providing real-time intelligence for outside intelligence agencies, which made way for additional evacuations.

I give Saving Aziz five out of five stars!

Happy Reading!

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