They left Kabul two days apart; then he found his father semiconscious in a base in Texas

By USCRI August 23, 2022

Toryali had been working for the U.S. government for almost four years when the panic started to take over Kabul as the Taliban were approaching. He was at the airport and was able to leave the country on August 15, 2021, the same day the Taliban took over the government. He says he was one of the first ones to arrive in Qatar to help set up the location for the other Afghans who were going to be evacuated in record time.

Toryali, or Tory as his friends and colleagues call him, left behind his parents and siblings when he boarded the plane at the Kabul airport. At 24, his life took a radical change.

From Qatar, he was sent to the U.S. and like thousands of other Afghans, arrived in Dulles before being sent to a military base. In his case, a base located in Texas.

Given the need for interpreters, Tory’s language skills came in handy as doctors working with emergency cases needed to communicate with Afghans who were unwell. Tory speaks Pashto, Persian, Urdu, as well as English and he’s trying to learn Hindu by watching movies.

As a result of the lack of translators, Tory was working long shifts, sometimes more than 12 hours to provide the assistance needed.

“I got a lot of experience there,” he says.

Some days after arriving, a U.S. soldier approached him. He took Tory to see one of the patients because he thought it was interesting that they had the same last name. So, he took Tory to the emergency side set up at the base. It was Tory’s father, who was semiconscious as a result of high blood pressure problems.

He could barely recognize Tory. But Tory was more than grateful and happy to see his father again.

Tory’s father was able to leave Kabul two days after him. His position as a former member of the Afghan Air Force posed a significant risk for his stay in the country.

Now Tory and his father have relocated to Pennsylvania. They left Texas after weeks and were resettled by Catholic Charities. Tory’s abilities proved advantageous again. He was told that a refugee agency, the U.S. Committee of Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) in Erie, PA, was looking for interpreters.

Tory now works for USCRI as an on-call case aide. He has a second job as an interpreter for a plastic company that has hired Afghan workers to facilitate communication.

“Now I feel so good, I am so happy, I am so safe now,” he says.

Tory is also taking online classes for nursing. His current plan is to study in the morning and work at night and stay in Pennsylvania.

But he has more hopes and goals for the future. He wants to join the U.S. Army. Initially, Tory’s dad wanted him to join the Afghan military, but he made the decision to work for the U.S. military.

He has changed his mind now and is working on getting the paperwork in order to enlist in the Army.


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