‘Closer and closer to home’: Denver family stuck in Afghanistan bound for US


DENVER (KDVR) — An Afghan family who lives in Denver will soon be reunited. A mother and her two daughters visited relatives in the war-torn country earlier this year and had been unable to leave.

Retired U.S. Army Col. Patrick Allen has been integral in helping the family escape Afghanistan.

“Now we’re just getting better and better, getting closer and closer to home,” Allen said.

Allen said the family is expected to land in Denver sometime Sunday.

The Afghan-American family asked that their identities be concealed because they fear for their safety.

Allen said they’ll meet the father of the family in D.C.

Hundreds of people gather outside the international airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021. The Taliban declared an “amnesty” across Afghanistan and urged women to join their government Tuesday, seeking to convince a wary population that they have changed a day after deadly chaos gripped the main airport as desperate crowds tried to flee the country. (AP Photo)

“The husband has left Denver … to meet them in Dulles,” Allen said.

The retired veteran served alongside this family in Afghanistan.

“Right now it’s a whole thing of relief, my God,” he said.

He said it was a dramatic escape from the terror they witnessed firsthand.

“They talk about how horrific the Taliban gauntlet is,” Allen said, “that people are getting pulled out of cars and beaten.”

When the mother of the family traveled to Afghanistan to visit her relatives, she not only got caught in a Taliban takeover but also suffered a medical emergency.

She had to have her appendix removed and couldn’t travel until Aug. 16. By then, Turkish Airlines canceled their flight.

Allen once served his country and said he’s proud to serve his friends now.

“Do everything I possibly can to save a life, that’s what I’m doing,” Allen said.

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