Cape Coral veteran’s Afghan translator arrives in US with family, heading to SWFL

CAPE CORAL

In a major update to WINK News’ exclusive story on the Afghan known as ‘Frank’ (for security reasons), the former US Army translator has made it to the States United with his family.

Frank, who allowed WINK News to share photos of himself and his family, stayed in touch with Aaron Forum, owner of the Shoot Center in Cape Coral, who worked alongside Frank for eight months while he served in US Army special operations in Afghanistan. Frank’s family is in Fort McCoy, Wisconsin at a large military base where they work on paperwork. Their goal is still to get to Lee County.

Last I heard, he was in Kuwait after fleeing Afghanistan. Frank and his family flew from Kabul to Kuwait, from there to Bulgaria and finally to New Jersey. He told WINK about being at Kabul airport at the same gate as the deadly IED blasts and the conditions.

“Actually, it was a tough, tough time,” Frank said. “We’ve been without food, water, even toilets for about two, three days… you’re, you know, sleeping and crawling in the dirt. And it was possible that the Taliban would find out who I am. And, you know, if it were possible, I’m an open-minded person. And I don’t practice the things they do and I don’t share the same value as them. So in their religion, I consider them an infidel. So it was a lot for them to kill me.

Two of Frank’s teenage sons, Omer and Hatim, 12 and 15, want to be doctors and engineers. Her daughter Aisha is almost 18 and wants to be a brain surgeon. Shahabudin and Mohammad are the two youngest children with him. Frank has two other sons in Egypt; he says they are safe and should join the whole family soon, so they will have a full house soon.

“I am so happy to announce that I am here with my family [in] in the United States of America, we are so happy and so excited to start our new life,” Frank said.

Getting out of Afghanistan was anything but easy. Sometimes it didn’t even seem possible. Aaron Forum called it “a coin toss – a 50/50 chance”.

“Back in Afghanistan, during the government collapse, I was in my office,” Frank said. “And suddenly everyone started running. And I find out there’s a bunch of Taliban, with [their] ugly faces and long hair, just walking around me. So I hide in the house of one of my neighbors. And I’ve been here for, like, seven or eight days.

Luckily, the coin fell heads.

“But right now we are leaving everything behind; we come here with one pair of clothes and one pair of shoes, and that’s all we have,” Frank said. “So thank you for all of you. God bless America and God bless the American people. Thank you.”

Copyright 2022 Fort Myers Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without prior written permission.