Connecticut principal helps American family with Afghanistan rescue

Growing concern over the Taliban and governance

Fox News correspondent Trey Yingst reports on the tumult in Afghanistan from Qatar for ‘Special Report.’

A Connecticut mom trapped in Kabul until just before the last U.S. plane flew out of Afghanistan emailed her daughter’s elementary school principal to say that her kids would miss the start of the school year, according to local reports.

So Brett Gustafson, principal at the Curiale School in Bridgeport, Conn., took to social media, reached out to lawmakers, and pleaded for help, ABC New York reported Tuesday. Then he got an email from a group of U.S. military veterans working to bring people to safety.

Hours later, he received notice that the family had been successfully evacuated.

“I was jumping up and down, because it had been a while because they had to go to a safe house because the airport was too dangerous, so I was just very nervous not hearing anything,” he told the station.

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN — AUGUST 29, 2021: A C-17 Globemaster takes off as Taliban fighters secure the outer perimeter, alongside the American controlled side of of the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021. (MARCUS YAM / LOS ANGELES TIMES)

Gustafson did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday evening.

The chaotic U.S. withdrawal left American citizens and Afghan allies in a panic as they tried to reach Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport ahead of the deadline to evacuate. The facility was surrounded by Taliban checkpoints, and militants allegedly beat, shot, and harassed people trying to reach the facility, witnesses have told Fox News.

Numerous non-governmental organizations, veterans groups, and volunteers worked with the Pentagon and State Department to help people reach the airport before the final American flight left on Monday – a day ahead of the Aug. 31 evacuation deadline.

But many Afghan allies and some Americans are still trapped, including an interpreter who worked with retired Marine Corps Sgt. Ryan Rogers in the brutal battle of Marjah a decade ago.

One California school district had multiple students’ families in Afghanistan amid the chaotic withdrawal. Seven of eight of them made it out, the Cajon Valley School District announced Tuesday – but the whereabouts of the last one remained unclear.

In the California and Connecticut cases, many of the students had gone to Afghanistan over the summer to visit family – then the chaotic withdrawal played out and left them scrambling to get home.

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