Local veteran worries for friend stuck in Afghanistan amid attacks

Posted at 10:41 PM, Aug 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-27 09:34:31-04

(WXYZ) — A devastating explosion outside the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan has killed more than 60 afghans and 13 U.S. service members.

Back in Michigan, veterans like Ben Wilson spent the day checking on their friends who are still in Afghanistan waiting for a flight out.

“Kabul is full of the Taliban, they are looking for translators. Help me. Help me please,” Wilson said, reading aloud a message from his friend Ahmad.

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Ahmad was an interpreter who worked with Wilson when Wilson was deployed nearly 10 years ago.

Ahmad was not at the airport when the bombing took place. He was too afraid to leave his hiding spot, just to be turned away again at the airport gates.

“Look what just happened, U.S. service members were killed. Why wouldn’t he think not to go back now? He’s probably afraid to even try,” Wilson said.

Wilson says Ahmad applied for his visa five years ago, but was still waiting. Now he’s in hiding with his wife and daughter while Wilson is trying all he can to get him out.

“We tell him somebody’s coming but, I feel like at this point we’re just lying to him," Wilson said. "We’re just comforting him to his death.”

Wilson says he and other veterans even talked about flying to Kabul themselves to get their friends out. President Joe Biden said despite the attacks, the U.S. will continue evacuations

RELATED: 'We are being humiliated as we withdrawal.' Journalist Osama Siblani sounds off on Afghanistan

“We will not be deterred by terrorists," President Biden said. "We will not let them stop our mission. We will continue the evacuation.”

"We have not slept night and day. We are hungry and thirsty, supplies are low,” Ahmad wrote in a message to Wilson.

According to messages, Ahmad is still in hiding. He's left to fend for himself against the Taliban, but even still he says he has no regrets.

In a message to Wilson, Ahmad wrote: “I have no guilt. I am proud to have worked with the Americans. The American forces are those who have always sacrificed their lives in defense of humanity, and I will be proud if I am killed this way.”

"These are the people that we’re leaving behind," Wilson said as he finished reading the message. "This is who got left behind.”