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Interpreter describes fleeing Afghanistan, now safe in San Diego

Kabul airport
Posted at 9:10 PM, Sep 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-20 09:37:22-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- “At least my kids will have a good life in the United States.”

An Afghan interpreter is now settled in San Diego after fleeing his home in Afghanistan less than a month ago.

“When they came it was very happy because they tried to build Afghanistan back," he recalled, of the United States military. "And our kids can go to school, and we had nice roads, we could spend money on the businesses it was a really nice thing.”

This Afghan interpreter, who we are naming "John" for his safety, worked side by side with the US for 12 years. He said he never expected things to turn so quickly.

“A bad day of my life when I saw that day," John said. "Because a lot of soldiers killed there, a lot of people, local national killed there.”

He said conditions before he fled are unlike anything he could imagine, “I don’t want my kids to die like the way people are dying there, every day someone dies again.”

He shared the targets are those like himself and his family; who also served with the US military.

“We were trying to hide our jobs," he said. "But you know still you can know sometimes, and if your relatives know they will tell someone and they will keep sharing with other people. It’s kind of dangerous for them and for me.”

John said that that was his biggest motivation.

He wanted to find a better life for his 3 kids, after fleeing a Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.

“My family are there my brothers are there and I worry about them also, and my kids also same thing, if I was there, I am sure they would kill me or my family," he said. "Right now my brothers and my family are trying to escape from my house, and every day they are changing their location.”

The day he landed in America was a bittersweet moment.

He and his family are now receiving assistance from Amna Sanctuary, which is a local nonprofit in San Diego. John said it's all thanks to the help of the San Diego community.

“There are a lot of people that are trying to help those refugees and I am really happy when I see that," said John. "They are giving us energy, there is someone to take us in.”

He said that he is trying to raise money for a car to be able to send his children, wife, and himself to school. Their GoFundMe can be viewed here.

Amna Sanctuary is featuring his family as their "Family of the Month."