January 21, 2022

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Younger Marines in Kabul Have been Left to Run Last Days of Evacuation

Young Marines in Kabul Were Left to Run Final Days of Evacuation

Second-generation Cuban American on his dad’s facet and second-generation Mexican American on his mother’s facet, Captain Rodriguez adopted his father, who had been a Navy reservist, into the army. He obtained his B.S. in human sources administration at California State Polytechnic College, Pomona, after which ended up at Marine Corps primary college in Quantico concurrently Captain Ball, in 2013. This was his first time in Afghanistan as effectively. And, like Captain Ball, he had left a pregnant spouse at dwelling.

In Kabul, Captain Rodriguez discovered himself on a mission to rescue 32 Afghan feminine athletes. Jeff Phaneuf, a former Marine in Princeton, N.J., working with an American group that was attempting to evacuate the athletes, had gotten the captain’s cellphone quantity.

The athletes have been in separate teams en path to the airport or already at Abbey Gate. Captain Rodriguez pushed into the gang to seek out them.

It was like a recreation of phone with larger stakes. “It was so simple as, ‘What are they sporting?” he recalled of his texts with Mr. Phaneuf. “Then he would relate to me, ‘They’re 200 meters from the canal. They’re sporting this,’ after which, ‘They’re within the canal, they’re sporting that.’ ” And thus, over the course of 4 hours, Captain Rodriguez discovered the athletes.

Close by, different Marines have been doing the identical factor.

Again in Virginia, Lt. Col. Justin Bellman had been attempting to get his former interpreter, Walid, by means of Abbey Gate for 60 hours. Throughout one melee, Walid’s son had fallen and misplaced a shoe. Lastly, an unfamiliar quantity confirmed up on Colonel Bellman’s cellphone whereas he stood at a bus cease. The caller recognized himself as a Marine.

“Did you give an indication together with your cellphone quantity on it to an Afghan at Abbey Gate?” the voice requested. “Are you able to vouch for him?”

His voice shaking, Colonel Bellman mentioned sure.

“I’ve obtained eyes on him,” the Marine mentioned. “We’re gonna pull him in.”

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