Afghan interpreter welcomed to new North Carolina home

Afghan interpreter welcomed to new North Carolina home

Crowds gathered in Weddington, North Carolina on Wednesday to welcome an Afghan interpreter and his family to their new home community.

WEDDINGTON, N.C. – When the American military pulled out of Afghanistan, people in the country who once helped interpret for U.S. soldiers worried they would be left behind. 

But now some interpreters are moving to the U.S. thanks to American leaders and veteran organizations. One interpreter, who goes by “Johnny,” says he and his family escaped Afghanistan just before the Taliban took his home.

“So my life, my wife, and three children’s life were in danger,” Johnny said.

Crowds gathered in Weddington, North Carolina, on Wednesday to welcome Johnny and his family to their new community after one man offered them a home until they get on their feet. 

Crowds gathered in Weddington, North Carolina on Wednesday to welcome an Afghan interpreter and his family to their new home community.
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“If they catch me, probably they kill me or they hurt me. This is the reason I want to be here,” Johnny said.

Johnny’s family boarded the last military flight out of Afghanistan in August, with help from a group of veterans and Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina.

“We did all that work so that we could make it very clear to the state department that we had somebody that deserved to get out of the country,” Tillis said. 

In Weddington, Johnny reunited with Sgt. Mike Verardo, who was catastrophically injured in 2010 by an IED in Afghanistan. Johnny was Verardo’s translator then. Now, they will be living down the street from each other. 

Johnny says he’s not only thankful for his new community, but also for his daughters having a chance at a new life. They were seen on a playground with other children at the welcoming event. Johnny looks forward to them starting school.

“This is the thing they want. So they are happy,” he said.

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