Nonprofit made up of veterans works to get Afghan allies out of war-torn country – Part 2

Buckley Report

(WGHP) — Just because the U.S. has pulled its military forces out of Afghanistan doesn’t mean the mission is over – at least, it’s not for many soldiers and other military personnel that fought there for years.

“We said, ‘Stand up and fight for democracy, for a society that can thrive the way Afghanistan used to thrive,’ and we now have to hold up our end of the bargain,” said Ashley Sogge, a military intelligence officer who rose to the rank of major.

Sogge is part of a group called Task Force Pineapple, which is named for the particular symbol some Americans used to allow close Afghan allies to identify themselves as eligible to be evacuated from the country once the U.S. left. That was key because those Afghanis who worked with the U.S. will quickly be hunted down and killed by the Taliban, these former soldiers told us.

“We know that our security force partners have been beheaded, their children have been murdered in front of them,” said Lyla Kohistany, a former Navy officer. “We receive daily images and videos of our Afghan security force partners being hunted down, their family members being killed and so this is already what we’re seeing from the Taliban and they’ve only been in charge for the past couple of months and they know that the world is watching and this is how they’re behaving.”

And, according to Green Berets like Zac Lois, these are the best and brightest Afghanistan has to offer.

“These were highly-trained individuals, they did more for America than many of the people in this country,” Lois said. “They kept us alive, they kept us fed, they’ve earned the right to come here.”

But it’s a difficult job, especially for nonprofit organizations like Task Force Pineapple, which is not an official government organization and has to navigate a series of gatekeepers to get those Afghanis they worked with safely to the U.S.

“Nothing is impossible – it’s improbable, it’s a struggle, but we do have a large group of highly dedicated and trained people that can get things done, given the proper resources and support,” Lois said.

Task Force Pineapple relies on donations from the public to do their work. See the nightmare situation Kohistany faced in this edition of the Buckley Report.

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