Air Force veteran fears for Afghan translator friends, trying to help

Local News

DENVER (KDVR) — Air Force veteran, Tara Nyikos, said Afghan translators she worked with on a deployment are pleading with her for help out of the country.

“I thought my war was over 10 years ago when I got out,” Nyikos, who spent more than a year on the frontlines of the war with the Taliban said. “I spent a total of 19 months working in Afghanistan.”

One night, she recalled, Taliban fighters were right outside the compound where she lived with Afghan translators.

“I was literally in a bunker that night thinking it was the last night of my life,” said of a night translators saved her life. “They fended off the Taliban, and kept us safe.”

The experience, cemented her relationships with them, “we became friends,” she said.

She gets emotional talking about her friends involved in another fight for their lives.

“The Taliban is literally hunting these individuals down,” she said.

Nyikos is already mourning the loss of several friends. “Three men that worked on that project with me have already been murdered by the Taliban,” she said.

She said she’s been sent desperate communications from others for help out of the country.

“I have them on text and messenger, it’s constant. I haven’t been sleeping because I’m talking to them all hours of the day,” she said.

A message from one friend said he’ll be killed and his children left to slavery.

“Kabul’s not really, I don’t think, a viable option at this point.”

Taliban checkpoints, interrogations are all obstacles to an escape out of the country from the airport in the capital.

Nyikos is frantically exploring other options to get her friends away from danger, including border crossings. “I’d like nothing more than go over there myself and rescue them,” she said.

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