California man recalls terrifying escape from Afghanistan aided by ex-Marines friend

ByCornell Barnard via KGO logo
Monday, August 23, 2021
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A Bay Area man is sharing his terrifying story, escaping from Afghanistan.

SAN FRANCISCO -- A California man is sharing his terrifying story, escaping from Afghanistan. It's a journey which began more than a week ago. His former military buddy in the Bay Area assisted in the effort to get him out safely, which almost didn't happen.

"I didn't think I'd be able to make it back to the states without losing my head," said Jay.

Jay spoke with our sister station KGO-TV about his terrifying escape from Afghanistan back to California. They agreed to protect his identity because he fears for his family's safety and retaliation from the Taliban.

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He's a former U.S. military interpreter who traveled to Kabul weeks ago, to help his family but got trapped.

"It was a total disaster," he said.

Kabul is a city in chaos. Jay says he made several attempts to get to the airport but the Taliban's gauntlet made it almost impossible.

"People were being stepped on, kids were stepped on, women were stepped on, women were passing out I will never ever forget it in my life," he added.

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When he finally reached the airport, he was met by armed security guards.

"I had a gun pointed in my face four times, four times. I had to sit down, I held up my visa, my green card with my passport saying hey don't shoot me, don't shoot me."

"I generally refer to him as my brother," said retired Marine Lieutenant Colonel Mike Hudson.

Hudson from Concord is Jay's close friend who served in Afghanistan helping local governments and training militia. That effort, now unraveling.

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"People are desperate, a sea of chaos, just seeing fear and helplessness from people who wanted something better," Hudson added.

Hudson has been working trying to help Jay and other friends get out of the country. With overnight success, Jay made it safely to Washington D.C. He wants to get his mother and other relatives out of the country soon. He hopes to be back in the Bay Area next week.