U.S. veteran pushes for rescue of Afghan interpreter

A Former U.S. army captain is pushing for the rescue of an Afghan interpreter.

The man who Scott Henkel identifies only as Kevin is pictured here with U.S. soldiers. Henkel served during Operation Enduring Freedom in 2006 and 2007 as an army Alpha team leader.

He says he spent basically the entirety of his time in Afghanistan with Kevin whose local knowledge was invaluable:

"I relied on my interpreter to help me navigate the culture, navigate the protocols and navigate the language barrier, obviously. And Kevin was influential in that. There were times when I would be talking to a, we call him the mayor of the town. And Kevin, based off of observations that he had walking into that meeting, would be telling me that this is a man who is also the Taliban's mayor, just from some cultural things that he noticed."

When Henkel heard about U.S. plans to pull out after a 20-year commitment in Afghanistan, he was "enraged."

Now 46 and living in Colorado working for a cyber security firm, he can only look on in despair at what he regards as a gross lack of planning for evacuations.

He describes the situation as 'unacceptable' for some 18,000 Afghan translators and their families.

With reports of the Taliban seeking out those who worked with foreigners, he fears there may only be a matter of hours left to save Kevin:

"Taliban is going door to door. They have a list of all the interpreters that have ever worked for NATO. And they are going door to door trying to find these people to round them up. And they're not even waiting until NATO is out. I thought they would wait until NATO was gone to do this. They're doing this right now. As I speak, Taliban is looking for people like Kevin. They're looking for his family."

According to Henkel, "Kevin" and his family have been turned away at local air fields by U.S. forces while trying to escape.

The pair are in regular contact, as they have always been, over webchat.

"It is pure chaos," Kevin told Henkel via text on Friday morning.

The Pentagon has said the U.S. will seek to evacuate as many Afghan interpreters as possible.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting