Illinois National Guard helps get soldier’s family out of Afghanistan


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WMBD) — An intelligence officer with the Illinois Army National Guard said the military went above and beyond to get his family out of Afghanistan.

2nd Lt. Fahim Masoud began working for the U.S. Army as an interpreter at age 17 and came to the United States in 2007. Now an intelligence officer, Masoud is based in northern Virginia but travels to Bloomington for monthly drills with Illinois Army National Guard.

Masoud said his family did not plan to leave Afghanistan, but once Kabul fell to the Taliban on Aug. 15, they had to get out. He reached out to Maj. Gen. Richard Neely, commander of the Illinois National Guard, for assistance.

“He’s an awesome commander. He’s an awesome leader. I reached out to his aide-de-camp, and right away you know they move to do everything they could to get the family out,” he said.

Masoud said his family was outside Kabul Airport on Aug. 26 when suicide bombers attacked, but they made it out safely. From Kabul, Masoud’s family was transported to Qatar, then Ramstein Air Base in Germany. They arrived at Dulles Airport on Sept. 10, and being processed and vetted at the naval base in Quantico, Virginia.

“It really took a village to get my family out,” Masoud said. “It was just, you know, I can’t tell you how grateful I am to the efforts of many many great people.”

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