TAMPA, Fla. - For the last five months, a Tampa-based rescue group has helped thousands of Americans and green card holders get out of Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, after being left behind in the U.S. government’s withdrawal at the end of August.
"We pull Americans, allies and vulnerable Afghans in Afghanistan from the clutches of the Taliban and bring them to safety," explained Bryan Stern, one of the co-founders of Project Dynamo.
American troops exited Afghanistan in August, marking the end of a 20-year war in the country. However, the Taliban quickly gained control and are back in power.
"The humanitarian crisis is real and the economic crisis is real, and you can't get money," Stern said.
Over the weekend, Project Dynamo pulled off its fifth operation, safely and legally moving 23 people out of Afghanistan. This time, almost half of the evacuees were children.
They have helped rescue thousands over the last five-months by land and air. All of them American citizens or green card holders who were left behind when the military withdrew.
"The vast majority of the American citizens went to Afghanistan for a wedding or for a death in the family or their mother was sick or some personal thing," said Stern.
The group met in Kabul on Thursday, boarded a plane early Friday morning, finally landing in New York Saturday night.
It is a difficult, massive, and expensive undertaking funded by donors and coordinated by a team of volunteers.
"I've been with the most elite units in the U.S. arsenal, and this by far is the most amazing, impactful team that has left their mark on America more than anything I’ve ever done," Stern said.
And he is not done yet.
"As long as people need help, and as long as we have funding, we will continue to operate," said Stern.
For more details on Project Dynamo, visit https://www.projectdynamo.org/.