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Arizona veterans help save Afghan military family from Taliban threat

Published: Dec. 22, 2021 at 6:34 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - After Kabul fell to the Taliban, a network of American veterans started working around the clock to rescue Afghan military members they worked with while overseas.

“We have a lot of thanks there’s not enough time to explain all of it of what happened in Afghanistan and how we got here,” said Hazem Amiry.

Amiry was part of the Afghan military and managed to escape when the Taliban took over, however his family was stuck in Kabul and faced a great threat.

“His exact words were he was dying inside,” said veteran Tony Short. “They were bouncing from house to house they were trying to hide to make sure if they were being tracked.”

Short, a retired Security Forces Air Advisor from Tucson, worked directly with Amiry and is part of the group of veterans making it their mission to rescue their Afghan allies.

They’ve worked diligently to save Amiry’s family using connections in the U.S. military, private organizations and preparing paperwork. The two have had each other’s backs through the scariest of times.

“It’s very difficult to talk about,” Short said.

He credits Amiry for saving his life.

“We went through an insider attack which is one of the most confusing and dangerous things you can ever live through,” he said. “When someone is wearing a uniform that you’re working with turns their weapon on you.”

He said Amiry was there by his side through it all. Short has made it his mission to get Amiry’s family out of Afghanistan. It was a near impossible task that in recent weeks came to fruition.

“Oh it’s just super exciting when I saw that they are safe,” Amiry said.

His five children are now in Qatar awaiting travel to the U.S.

“My family is good and soon they will fly here,” he said.

Eventually the entire family will be reunited in Tucson. The mission to rescue Afghan allies isn’t over. Southern Arizona Musicians for Healing (SAMH), an organization dedicated to helping veterans, is supporting the efforts.

Donations made through their website, here, will go directly to the Afghan allies. Follow the latest updates on the rescue efforts through the Operation 22 Restore Hope Facebook Page, here.

Copyright 2021 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.