NewsLocal News


Cape Coral Marine working to help stranded Afghan interpreters

Posted at 10:35 PM, Aug 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-20 22:37:29-04

CAPE CORAL, FLA — For most of us, logging onto Facebook Messenger and seeing a green dot next to a friend's name simply means they are online.

But for Cape Coral Marine, Tim McNichol Jr. it's a sign of life.

"I make sure every morning; I can see that green dot that lets me know they're still alive. That there's still a chance for them," he said, "Without them, the mission wouldn't be completed."

He's talking about the three Afghan interpreters he worked closely with during his time as a security contractor in Afghanistan.

We're not using their names or showing their faces for safety reasons, but FOX 4 did get to hear from two of them about conditions in Kabul right now.

"We are now hiding in the basement of our house," said the first interpreter.

This first gentleman worked alongside U.S. forces for about 5 years and says the situation in the country is dire.

"It's getting worse and we're really at high risk," he said.

Shortly after, FOX 4 heard from the second interpreter, who says the Taliban is now targeting Afghans who provided any help to the U.S.

"They start searching house to house. They are looking to find us and behead us. And that's how we lost about 10 of our colleagues in the last seven days," he said.

He tells FOX 4 many of those interpreters have been trying to leave the country for years, based on a promise from the U.S. government.

"They promised to give us the SID visa. Special immigration visa."

"They were side-by-side with us. Shoulder to shoulder with us. To me, they're American," said McNichol Jr.

The Southwest Florida Marine is now working with state and federal leaders and crews on the ground in Afghanistan, to try and get those interpreters and their families to safety.

"If I could personally go over there and get these guys myself, I would," he said.

And in the meantime, the interpreters are calling on the U.S. to make good on their promises.

"Joe Biden, why are the American soldiers forgetting about us after everything we did? The sacrifices we made. Why are they leaving us behind?" said one interpreter.

McNichol Jr. is also calling on the community to get involved and he says you don't have to have military connections to do something.

He says if you see this story and want to help the thousands of Afghan interpreters and other allies in the country, you should call your state and federal leaders and tell them exactly how you feel.