Hoosier who worked in Afghanistan on military contract desperately seeking help to get his interpreter out of the country


GREENFIELD, Ind. — As Americans and US allies continue to search for ways out of Afghanistan, an Indiana man who worked as an electrical contractor in the country is desperately trying to rescue his interpreter during his time there.

“He’s at his wits end. He’s scared, and he’s hiding,” said James Garwood who spent three years in Afghanistan. “Just a matter of time before they find him and his family.”

Garwood was doing electrical work through a military contract when he met his interpreter Abdul Rauf.

“He was there, and just a great worker and great individual,” said Garwood before explaining why he was there: “In Iraq, in that war, there were 249 deaths due to soldiers getting electrocuted in the showers. Since the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers went over there to Afghanistan, not one person was killed.”

Abdul is now stuck in the country fearing for his life. Garwood contacted Governor Eric Holcomb, as well as Senators Mike Braun and Todd Young for help. They were able to provide Rauf a website to obtain a visa, but he can’t afford to complete the paperwork. Garwood believes his friend’s life may be in danger.

“A part of me would almost not want to know that his life would be taken from him, because I would know how it would be taken from him,” details Garwood explaining situations he witnessed while overseas. “I’ve even had propaganda videos, and I see how they cut their heads off.”

Garwood says independent groups have been going into country to rescue interpreters, however he believes it will be a matter of luck that Abdul will be at the right place at the right time to be rescued.

“When I was over there it was a given that the interpreters and people that helped the US were going to be taken care of,” says Garwood, “What our government has done to some of these people is appalling.”

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