Afghan translator for Cape Coral veteran makes it to US with family, heading for SWFL

Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Published: Updated:
Former Afghan translator “Frank” and his family. Courtesy of Frank

In a major update to WINK News’ exclusive story about the Afghan man known as “Frank” (for security reasons), the former translator for the U.S. military has successfully made it to the U.S. with his family.

Frank, who has given WINK News permission to share photos of himself and his family, remained in touch with Aaron Forum, owner of Shoot Center in Cape Coral, who worked alongside Frank while for eight months while serving with U.S. Army Special Operations in Afghanistan. Frank’s family is in Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, at a large military base where they are working on paperwork. Their goal is still to get to reach Lee County.

Last we 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 spoke to WINK about being in the Kabul airport at the same gate as the deadly IED explosions and what the conditions were like.

“Actually, it was difficult and tough times,” Frank said. “We were deprived from food, from water, even from toilet for like two, three days… you are, you know, just sleeping and groveling in the dirt. And there was possibility that the Taliban will find out who I am. And, you know, if it was possible, I am open-minded person. And I don’t practice the things they’re doing and I don’t share the same value they have. So, in their religion, I consider as 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. His 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 are expected to join the whole family soon, so they will soon have a full house.

“I’m so happy to announce that I’m here with my family [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. At times, it didn’t even seem possible. Aaron Forum called it “a coin toss—a 50/50 chance.”

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

Fortunately, the coin came up heads.

“But right now, we leave behind everything; we just came here with one pair of clothes and a single pair of shoes, and that’s all we have,” Frank said. “So thanks for all of you. God bless America, and God bless the people of America. Thanks.”

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