When the U.S. military withdrew from Afghanistan, many American citizens were left behind. The Biden administration promised to help get as many out as possible, though over 100 are left behind.
And in fact, we’re hearing reports now that more than 100 U.S. citizens are still trapped in Taliban territory. This is a rough spot for President Joe Biden, as his approval ratings indicate.
So this is where a retired U.S. Army Special Forces hero steps up.
His name is Lt. Col. Perry Blackburn, a former member of the well-known “Horse Soldiers,” who were some of the first soldiers on the ground in Afghanistan after 9/11.
Since the Taliban retook Afghanistan, Blackburn and other military members weren’t pleased with how Biden’s team handled the whole situation.
And they really weren’t okay with leaving Americans behind — that’s why Blackburn formed AFGfree, a nonprofit effort designed specifically to get U.S. citizens and allies out of enemy territory.
“We are first in, last out,” the website says. And they’ve made tremendous progress so far.
In fact, the amount of progress they’ve made sort of makes President Biden look bad. Blackburn and his team are saving those trapped Americans at a rapid clip.
From Fox News:
A retired U.S. Army Special Forces soldier has organized a nonprofit effort to get American citizens and Afghan allies safely out of Taliban-controlled Afghanistan – and so far, he has had success evacuating nearly 1,000 individuals.
Almost 1,000 people are now free because of Blackburn and his organization.
This organization includes over 400 veterans, but there are other assistants as well. Just about anyone who has been involved with Afghanistan in some capacity can sign on to help.
It is anybody that has a touch point in Afghanistan.
Like those who worked with NGOs, State Department, military, U.S. aid workers, civilian workers, doctors, nurses – we’ve come together and galvanized in networks of people.
At this point, Blackburn says AFGfree is in touch with about 2,200 people in Afghanistan, though the number does change a bit here and there. “People contact us every single day, by the bunches,” he said.
They’re focused on getting documented citizens and allies out of Afghanistan, and that requires “money to contract aircraft.”
If they can get that far, though, they have a good chance of escaping. And AFGfree is looking to take the next step: ally with the federal government.
Blackburn and his colleagues met with the State Department last week, and requested they team up. The organization wants “any political capital they have with third-party countries.”
The problem is that there’s a lot of red tape in government work.
As Blackburn said:
What we have, that some of them don’t, is the passion for it. They’re dealing with passports and processes. We’re dealing with people.
He also added that “we’re just moving much faster than they are.” Evidence of that can be found in the nearly 1,000 people who have already gotten out of Afghanistan thanks to AFGfree.
So long as U.S. citizens need help, heroes like Blackburn and those who sign up to help him will receive tremendous support and respect.