All-Volunteer Group of Retired US Military Vets Rescues Hundreds of Afghans
An all-volunteer group of retired US military veterans from special ops forces including Green Berets and SEAL Team commanders, spent a week secretly rescuing members of Afghanistan’s special forces and Afghan allies who worked the allied forces and their families, in a mission they called the Pineapple Express, ABC News first reported. The volunteers estimate that they rescued more than 600 Afghan nationals. Working unofficially with the US military, the volunteer veterans moved people late at night and under the cover of near-total darkness through the streets of Kabul in order to deliver the at-risk Afghans to the gates of the Hamid Karzai International Airport. The volunteers and the people they were assisting used images of pineapples on their cell phones to identify each other. “The bravery and courage and commitment of my brothers and sisters in the Pineapple community was greater than the US commitment on the battlefield,” said Army Maj. Jim Gant, a retired Green Beret, told ABC News. “I just want to get my people out.” The group was moving people at the time of the ISIS-K attack on the Abbey Gate of the airport that killed 13 US servicemen and dozens of Afghans. Some of the evacuees were injured in the attack. The US says more than 100,000 Afghans have been evacuated from Kabul, as US troops began leaving on Sunday.