Gulf Coast veteran works with Allied Extract to free Afghan interpreters
BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - We introduced you to former U.S. Marine Moises Espinal back in July. He, along with other current and former military members, worked to get Afghan interpreters and others out of Afghanistan.
At last check, his interpreter, code-named “Lucky,” was stuck at the Kabul airport. Now, Espinal has some better news.
“The core group of Marines that we worked with to get Lucky and other interpreters out got together, rented some buses from Kabul and bused them up to Mazar-i-Sharif, which is a northern province in Afghanistan,” Espinal said. “We’ve currently moved close to 160 US citizens, green card holders, and currently have them housed in various safe houses.”
The grassroots, behind-the-scenes organization is called Allied Extract. Espinal said it formed last month when the realization came that any help they could get from the U.S. government was limited.
“With Allied Extract, we were able to get 100 people through the gate. It’s a small victory,” Espinal added. “It feels good to win every now and then, but it’s also disappointing that the core group of 11 interpreters that we tried to get through the gates couldn’t get through.”
For now, Moises tells us that the group and others are stranded in safe houses until they get permission to fly them out of the country.
“We have an airline that’s sitting on the runway, we have a pilot,” he said. “We have a manifest that’s been given to the state department, but we’ve kind of hit a bottleneck. We’ve been hampered down by the State Department and the Taliban government as far as getting these people out of Afghanistan.”
So, their work continues.
“While things seem to be moving, they always stop,” he said.
Some of that funding help is coming from Scarlet Pearl Casino in D’Iberville, which recently donated $25,000 to “No One Left Behind” and “Spirit of America,” two groups also working to extract key personnel from Afghanistan.
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