TEAGUE, Texas — Prior service members David and Holly Maples helped many Afghan interpreters escape Afghanistan after the country fell to the Taliban. Now one, and his wife, are living in our area.
“All the things that all of these people did for me to put me in the airport, it was all gone when I was kicked out of the airport,” Interpreter Jafar Khawari said.
That was the second time Jafar and his wife Zahra were removed from the Kabul international airport in attempts to leave.
Jafar worked with prior Army Staff Sergeant David Maples during his time in Afghanistan and when the country began to fall to the Taliban, David knew he had to help Jafar and the others that aided them.
“He reached back out saying hey Taliban has taken over Kabul, we’re not able to get through,” David told FOX 44 back in September. “So I started walking through how to get through the Taliban, how to get up to the gate.”
Jafar said that the entire process took he and his wife three different attempts to get into the Kabul airport, all while the Taliban was hunting him.
After their last attempt succeeded, they were flown to quasar, then to Philadelphia International Airport and finally transported to the McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Joint Base in New Jersey where David and Holly picked them up.
“It was a little bit of a relief knowing that they’re back with us and their good,” Maples said.
“I couldn’t still believe that I was actually next to David Maples in the car,” Jafar said. “We was it was hard to believe all of this. We went through an I’m eventually next to…And I couldn’t. I couldn’t believe it.”
Jafar told FOX 44 that it was an extremely long and stressful process but he and Zahra do still miss Afghanistan.
“Truthfully, I don’t thinking about going back to Afghanistan, but there is sadness, yes, there is, there’s a lot of stress to digest,” he said. “There is a lot going on. You know, we’re still miss the country.”
But he is extremely grateful for the help of many united states veterans, like the maples, and active duty service members who helped them arrive here safely.
Although they have celebrated Christmas before, Jafar and Zahra are very excited to celebrate an American Christmas with the Maples.