CONCORD, NC (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – Afghanistan veterans in North Carolina worry that the people who helped them out during the war will be left stranded and hunted by the Taliban.
One local Afghanistan veteran said he’s been getting messages in the middle of the night from people asking for help.
From the American Flag out front to the bookshelves lined with memories, Cliff Perry’s home in Concord is a place for everyone he loves.
A place for his whole family.
“You can always have a house, but you don’t always have a home,” said Cliff.
For 25 years, Cliff’s home was wherever the Air Force sent him, including Afghanistan.
“Pretty much everything in this room, those chairs, were handmade in Afghanistan by an individual I’m trying to help get out,” said Cliff.
Cliff retired from the Air Force in 2017 as a Lieutenant Colonel. Since then, he’s been back in Afghanistan on and off, helping mentor people in the military there.
“To see what’s s going on in that country right now is heartbreaking,” said Cliff. “I’m getting calls, texts in the middle of the night with ITs or interpreters and to a lot of the folks that we trained with. They’re begging for us, anyway, to help.”
The text messages keeping him up are like one, where his interpreter texted him at 4 in the morning… writing…
“Our life is in danger.”
Screenshots of the texts
“I spent 12 hours in front of the gate and I was there for a whole night. Due to the crowd, we were not able to get to the airport.”
“There are Taliban checkpoints on the road but I will make it to the airport. Somehow.”
Every message that he receives is another blow. He said he can’t turn on the TV and watch the news either.
“I don’t like watching those videos. I don’t like watching a C-17 take-off and see someone who is so scared to get out of their country, they hold onto the aircraft and fall to their death.”
After a lifetime of serving, he said he’s trying to do anything to help.
“Here, you’re sitting on your hands and there’s not a lot you can do,” said Cliff.
There are all kinds of families.
Ones you build homes with.
Ones you serve with.
And ones that are a world away.