'Digital Dunkirk': Group of veterans offer to help with Afghanistan evacuation efforts
WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) - A massive veterans group is using its power to help with evacuation efforts in Afghanistan.
The network of military veterans–including former Navy SEALs, Special Forces, tech analysts and pilots–forming their own movement to help evacuate those in danger in Afghanistan.
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The group is putting together a grassroots effort to help get American citizens, Afghan allies, Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) applicants and others that are in danger out of the country as the Taliban continues to take over.
It's being labeled a "Digital Dunkirk" campaign with hundreds of thousands of patriots, veterans and civilians joining the movement over the past week and a half.
There is also an aviation branch of this campaign called Dynamo Two that is facilitating helicopters, airplanes and pilots flying in and out of Afghanistan to get people out of Kabul to either the airport, safe houses, or out of the country.
FOX 5 met up with the Dynamo Two group in DC. For their safety, we’re not identifying them, but here’s just some of what they said as they prepare for their rescue mission.
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"It’s not that the government is not trying hard and that the military isn’t trying hard. The reality is this is a dire situation and they need assistance and they need help and that’s where we come in."
The effort initially started as an army of veterans, but it has since grown to include human rights, faith, and political organizations, and they expect that number to continue to grow.
When asked why they are spending their own money and risking their lives to do this, this is what one veteran had to say.
"This is in honor of the Afghan interpreters that allowed us to do our job, allowed us to survive day to day, allowed us to conduct the work that the United States of America needed to do in that country and this is for them and their families and the sacrifices they’ve made and for the sacrifices that have already been given by our fellow servicemen on that soil."
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FOX 5 also spoke to one of the organizers on the phone who told me his interpreter was killed just a few weeks ago by the Taliban.
He was also a 9/11 first responder and said the last time he saw people jumping from buildings or planes was at Ground Zero, and the video of people trying to escape Afghanistan by jumping on C-17's and falling from the sky brought him back to that moment.
That’s when he said enough is enough and knew it was time to move into action helping anyone he can to get out.