Former Marine tries desperately to get Afghan colleague out of harm’s way

Published: Aug. 16, 2021 at 2:33 PM CDT
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BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - We’ve all been watching the disturbing images coming out of Afghanistan as the United States continues its withdrawal and the Taliban takes over.

Former U.S. Marine Moises Espinal has been reading through texts he’s been getting from his former Afghan interpreter, code-named “Lucky,” who’s still trying to make it out of Afghanistan alive.

Espinal, who served two tours in Afghanistan, said the news right now isn’t good.

“The House initiated a resolution to expedite the visa. I think that was a little too late,” Espinal said. “They saw that the paint on the wall was dry when they knew the Taliban was taking over the country.”

Now, images of a chaotic and deadly situation are unfolding. Espinal tells us despite numerous attempts to get Lucky out, he’s been unlucky with those efforts.

“I’ve tried to maintain as much communications as I can, but these last few times I’ve talked to him, the guy is literally fearing for his life,” Espinal added. “The Taliban is inside Kabul. From his house, you can hear the gunfire.”

In fact, right after our interview, Espinal got a phone call from a key U.S. contact in Kabul about getting Lucky out, but when he tried to call Lucky, there was no answer.

“I’m afraid for his life, and for those that are still over there,” he said.

Despite the US pull-out, Espinal said the time he and his military colleagues spent in Afghanistan is something he will always carry with him.

“Yesterday I stayed on the phone from the time I woke up until I went to sleep with my Marine buddies calling me and civilian friends asking me my thoughts on the situation,” Espinal added. “I can say that as Marines, sailors, airmen, those on the ground...we did our job.”

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