A former United States soldier who journeyed to Afghanistan to help his family escape the Taliban said the US Embassy in Pakistan has repeatedly hung up on him while he was pleading for help. Embassy staff also refused to let him enter the building to speak with a government official, he said.
During an interview with Fox News on Thursday, the former staff sergeant and Afghan native who goes by the call sign “Legend” said he literally “begged” the US Embassy in Pakistan to let him in.
“It was that embarrassing,” Legend said. “A US citizen not permitted entry in US soil.”
After multiple attempts to contact the embassy via telephone, Legend eventually got through and told the official on the line that he was a U.S. soldier in need of help. He noted that he was not comfortable going into details over the phone and requested to meet in person. Fox News obtained and reviewed recordings of the phone calls, allowing the outlet to confirm Legend’s story.
“They hung up the phone,” the veteran said. “I called again and again, the same thing. I couldn’t believe it. I was in shock.”
Legend said he was doing everything he could to request diplomatic aid for his family in Afghanistan, in addition to other American citizens, green card holders and Afghans who have special immigrant visas that he said were stuck at the border. Fox agreed to keep his identity anonymous to protect him and his family from the Taliban.
“I gave up, I gave up,” he continued. “They kept hanging up. No matter what I say, they kept hanging up.”
The veteran said he “started tearing up” when he left the area, and that it “felt like somebody was stabbing me in the back.” Legend said he was discharged after suffering traumatic brain injuries.
According to the veteran, the Taliban, ISIS-K and al Qaeda are all at the Pakistan border, making it extremely dangerous for those attempting to escape Afghanistan.
“They’re frisking everyone,” he said. “These Afghan allies that we have – U.S. citizens, green card holders – they have to get past all these checkpoints and then not only hide from the Taliban, but also ISIS-K and then al Qaeda.”
“And ISIS is targeting directly U.S. citizens, green card holders, anyone with an Afghan passport wanting to get out,” he added. “They’re in search of these guys.”
A spokesperson for the State Department told Fox News that the department is “aware of these reports, but for privacy considerations have no further comment.”
The veteran said everyone trying to cross the border is “begging the US embassy to step in.” He said U.S. officials “bragging about how they’re helping Afghan allies” are “lying.”
“You’re not,” the veteran said. “You’re lying, you’re not even permitting entry to U.S. citizens.”
“They caused this big mess, and now they’re hiding behind these walls, and they will not even agree to open the gates for a U.S. citizen,” he added.
He said his only remaining option for recourse is to go to the media and “plead for help.”
“I’ve done everything else in my power,” he told Fox News. “If there’s anyone out there that can help me, help my family, help all these other individuals, U.S. citizens, U.S. green card holders, our Afghan allies, please, please help us.”
“We’re in dire need of help.”