COLORADO SPRINGS — "I came to the United States on 28th of August," said an Afghan refugee now in Colorado Springs. News 5 is not sharing his name in order to protect his family still trying to flee Afghanistan.
But getting here was not easy. He was part of the massive crowds of people trying to escape from the airport in Kabul as the U.S. withdrew from Afghanistan.
"When I got there I helped the Marines a lot because I was trying to make the people (get in) order because it was a mess.
He went on to describe chaos and desperation, including some of the shocking and heartbreaking images we all saw.
"I saw the bodies that they were dropping from the airplane," he said "It was very hard, the situation was very bad. When the Taliban took over the government I was just hiding myself in my house. Suddenly I heard that the Americans are trying to evacuate the people they used to work with."
Thankfully, he was one of them. He says he worked as an interpreter for the U.S. Army and had a badge to prove it. Three days into the chaos at the airport, he learned he had a spot on a plane.
"It was early in the morning around 3 a.m.," he said. "I had nothing with myself only my documents and one Afghan traditional clothing."
His trip from Kabul took him to Qatar, then Ramstein Air Base in Germany, then Washington D.C.. From there he went to the National Guard base in Fort Pickett, Virginia.
"When I was in the base I selected the address, and I provided the address of the Captain I used to work for back in Afghanistan," he said. "So when I came in here in the airport, one of the ladies from Lutheran Family Services was waiting for me."
Since then, he says Lutheran Family Services in Colorado Springs has helped find him a home, get food stamps and Medicaid, and is working to bring one of his brothers who evacuated to Colorado Springs.
He says his next step will be to earn his GED so he can then join the U.S. Military.
"I will join the Air Force first of all to serve this country and to my family, and after that I want to continue my education," he said. "After finishing my Air Force I will try to open a business. I see America is the land of opportunity."
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