For two weeks, while watching scenes of chaos from afar, Marine veteran Mike Donoghue has been fighting to get his former interpreter, a friend, out of harm’s way.
Donoghue said Shirzad worked alongside his platoon in the Helmand Province in 2009.
"We couldn't have survived without him, I mean, truthfully,” said Donoghue.
Back in 2016, he said Shirzad applied for his SIV, or Special Immigrant Visa, but was denied due to a clerical error.
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So as the Taliban approached, and Afghanistan’s fall appeared imminent, Donoghue and his fellow veterans began working around the clock to help get their friend out.
He said he’s had the ear of and received help from several elected officials including congressmen and senators.
"It's been across party lines. It's been across everything. A lot of people are willing to help, but it fell apart pretty quick,” said Donoghue.
He said everything from paperwork-related issues to miscommunication have stood in the way, resulting in multiple failed trip's to Kabul's airport for Shirzad, his wife and their two children.
There's no exaggeration that around every single one of those gates there were 4,000, 5,000, 6,000 people around each of those gates. I mean, picture yourself trying to go against traffic in AT&T stadium when everyone's trying to leave. That's really what they're facing with small children trying to get through,” he said.
Thursday, their desperation only deepened as explosions outside of the airport claimed both American and Afghan lives.
“I spent enough time there to understand what was going on. And when you start seeing IEDs in crowded areas like that, one, you just understand what's about to really happen, and then Shirzad sent me videos of what was going down there with bodies in the ditch,” said Donoghue.
Though he worries his friend has lost hope of escaping before the Taliban comes for him, Donoghue hasn’t. He remains committed to doing whatever he can to help him and his family get to safety.