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Former U.S. Interpreters Recall Rescue from Afghanistan, Horror of Being Left Behind

Bryan Stern of Project Dynamo awaits a flight from Abu Dhabi to Chicago with the Afghans he helped evacuate. (Bryan Stern)

From his Chicago home, Gul watched in horror as the Taliban advanced on Kabul in mid-August.

He worried about his wife and their two-year-old son, who had traveled to Afghanistan in March so she could visit her parents for the first time since she’d moved to the U.S. in 2019.

A lot of people knew that Gul, 28, had once served as an interpreter and cultural adviser to the U.S. military and that he was now a U.S. citizen. If word got out to the Taliban, Gul knew his wife and son could be targeted. He was overcome with a feeling of

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Ryan Mills is an enterprise and media reporter at National Review. He previously worked for 14 years as a breaking news reporter, investigative reporter, and editor at newspapers in Florida. Originally from Minnesota, Ryan lives in the Fort Myers area with his wife and two sons.

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