Without your help, this would not have been possible


To the Editor:

I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude and appreciation for the support and financial assistance you provided to my American family, the Espindles, to bring me back to America from Afghanistan. I have now completed my first semester at Bunker Hill Community College and would like to humbly report that I have a 3.9 cumulative score and have made the Dean’s List. My goal is to major in international relations, and my desire is to improve understanding and relationship between the United States and the Middle East.

Six years ago, at the age of 15, I was given the incredible opportunity to spend one year in the United States with the Espindle family. They provided me with medical, dental, and personal care I had never known. With the guidance of my American brother, David Espindle, I learned to speak English and integrate into the world of being a high school teenager in America.

Sadly, as agreed, when that year ended I left my new family and returned home. My “mom,” Dyan, promised me she would do everything in her power to bring me back some day to finish my education. She stayed in touch with me under the harshest conditions and tenaciously navigated through six years of red tape, engaging every politician who would listen to assist in my return.

In November of 2009, I was allowed to return to America under the sponsorship, for a second time, of the Espindles. I am living with them on the Vineyard and have once again incorporated into the community and have had the privilege of being able to volunteer to service. My brother, David, once more, unselfishly, has shared his clothes, his friends, and his space unconditionally. We are “salt and pepper,” we are brothers of the heart.

To all of you, many anonymously, who have made this life-changing opportunity possible for me, I want to say thank you. I would especially like to thank Michael Wooley, who has donated his time and his talent to teach me to swim in an ocean I had never known in Afghanistan.

Without your support and generosity I would not have been granted, and continue to have, this opportunity. I promise to continue to warrant your faith in me.

With gratitude.

Massoud “Max” Kohistani

Vineyard Haven