Local dad pleads for return of kids stranded in Afghanistan

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SAN DIEGO – A San Diego father whose family remains stranded in Afghanistan two weeks after the U.S. military’s withdrawal there is calling on officials to help get his kids home.

The father, who did not want to be identified for fear of jeopardizing his family’s safety, has been trying to get help from the State Department, but says he has been unsuccessful.

The father says his wife and four kids left to see his immediate family in Afghanistan back in April, and they have not made it back since the Taliban’s swift takeover of the government there.

The dad says he has been living in a nightmare; his four kids — all U.S. citizens younger than 10 years old — are scared. “They tried multiple times to get in the airport,” he told FOX 5. “My kids (were) not able to escape, to get to the airport. They tried.”

One of his children is a student at Hawthorne Elementary School in the Clairemont — and unfortunately, she isn’t the only one missing from the student body. According to the Hawthorne’s principal, five of their students are currently stranded in Afghanistan.

The school hung five little hearts on a tree at the campus to represent each student currently stuck in the nation.

Rep. Sara Jacobs’ office says that since August, she and her staff have processed more than 400 cases for individuals or families who are trying to leave Afghanistan.

“Congresswoman Jacobs believes strongly that although our military engagement in Afghanistan is over, our moral responsibility to those in need is not, including continuing to assist any American citizens or allies who want to leave Afghanistan,” said Will McDonald, a spokesperson for Jacobs.

In an email to FOX 5, Jacobs’ office said she recently led a bipartisan letter signed by more than 40 members of congress pushing the administration for answers on a timeline and process for doing so.

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