WESTON, Fla. – A South Florida family shares their experience, waiting to hear from their son during last week’s evacuations in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Kelli Rodriguez told Local 10′s Andrew Perez, her heart just dropped when she learned her son, Captain Vidal Rodriguez of the U.S. Marine Corps, was headed to help evacuate Americans and Afghan allies from the airport in Kabul.
“I mean, we knew this was going to be difficult,” said Rodriguez.
It was a tense time, start to finish. A suicide bombing on Aug. 26 killed 13 American service members and nearly 200 Afghans. Captain Vidal, amid the chaos helped reunite families, as thousands were trying to flee the Taliban.
The Rodriguez’s, from their home in Weston, heard of the suicide bombing at the Kabul airport and for a while, they say, they didn’t know if he was ok. But hours later, they received a simple message.
“I’ve got Wi-Fi. I’m safe. Please let everybody know. I just don’t have a lot of time to talk,” Rodriguez said, relieved, relaying her son’s message.
The mission continued for Vidal. Overall, U.S. and coalition aircrafts evacuated more than 123,000 people in just two weeks. Including 5,500 Americans.
The Rodriguez’s finally spoke with Captain Vidal from his home base in Bahrain and they heard about the struggles and sacrifices he encountered in Kabul.
The war in Afghanistan spanned 20 years and claimed more than 2,400 American lives over its course.