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As Kabul was falling to Taliban forces, the phones and inboxes of U.S. military veterans across the country were blowing up with desperate pleas from their Afghan interpreters and partners in America’s longest war.

“It was just gut-wrenching,” says retired U.S. Army Col. Mike Jason, who commanded a task force with special forces in Afghanistan, who was getting voice text messages from an Afghan military commando – a war college classmate now on the run.

The commando had stood his post to the end, but was now unable to get back to his family.

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