An elderly California couple is returning home after being trapped in Afghanistan for weeks following the U.S. military’s departure from the country, according to California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa.
“This is a cause for celebration and the result of almost countless hours of work under very difficult conditions,” Issa said in a statement on Wednesday.
“Our team simply would not give up, and today it paid off and we got them home,” the congressman added.
The names of the couple are reportedly being withheld at the family’s request due to fear of violence toward relatives who remain in Afghanistan.
The couple sought to leave the nation for weeks but were repeatedly “harassed and intimidated” at Taliban checkpoints in their attempts to reach the Kabul airport.
The couple’s granddaughter contacted Issa’s office for assistance. The congressman’s team then launched the effort leading to the couple’s departure.
“I want to thank Congressman Issa and his staff both in Washington and California for everything they did to help my grandparents come home. We are all so grateful,” the granddaughter said in the statement.
Issa’s office has helped 33 members of his district escape Afghanistan.
“While we have made extraordinary progress, but we’re not stopping until everyone comes home,” Issa said.
Issa also celebrated the success on Twitter.
“A great day for our community and this special couple,” the congressman tweeted. “But also a reminder that so many families still aren’t home yet. Our work isn’t done.”
A great day for our community and this special couple.
But also a reminder that so many families still aren’t home yet. Our work isn’t done.https://t.co/kiA3xNLaYD
— Rep. Darrell Issa (@repdarrellissa) September 16, 2021
Last month, Issa also worked to assist 24 El Cajon students stuck in Afghanistan.
“At least 24 students from El Cajon are stranded in Afghanistan. I’m working diligently to determine the best ways to help those trapped return home safely,” Issa tweeted Aug. 25.
“I won’t stop until we have answers and action,” he added.
At least 24 students from El Cajon are stranded in Afghanistan. I’m working diligently to determine the best ways to help those trapped return home safely. I won’t stop until we have answers and action.https://t.co/MaXf3yFg29
— Darrell Issa (@DarrellIssa) August 25, 2021
“Jonathan Wilcox, a spokesman for Mr. Issa, said in a statement that the congressman is trying to obtain immigration paperwork for his constituents who are stuck in Afghanistan,” The New York Times reported at the time.
“We are in consistent contact with official channels including the State Department and the Pentagon,” Wilcox said, according to the Times.
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