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Veterans group helping relocate Afghan refugees to western Washington

"Task Force Pineapple" is finding safe haven for Afghan families who partnered with allies during the U.S. War in Afghanistan.

SEATTLE — Leaders of a veteran-based organization working to funnel families and refugees out of Afghanistan to safety in America are in Seattle this week.

The organization is called “Task Force Pineapple.” The group is made up of hundreds of veterans who are working to get U.S. allies out of Afghanistan.

CEO M. Lyla Kohistany said the group has now rescued about 1,000 people from the country and brought them to safety. Those rescued include American citizens, Afghan special forces soldiers, government officials and other foreign nationals.

“We are focused on them getting the best services possible and to integrate into the community," Kohistany told KING 5’s Jake Whittenberg. "These are trusted allies who fought shoulder to shoulder with us."

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Task Force Pineapple is currently working with Kent-based “Afghan Health Initiative” to relocate families safely in western Washington. 

One major concern right now is the winter season in Afghanistan, which can be brutal.

"We are very concerned already that children are dying, and our partners are hunted by the Taliban and the Islamic State," explained Kohistany.

Kohistany is an Afghan refugee and a military veteran who is serving as a U.S. Navy intelligence officer. She said she was disappointed with the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan but has hope that America can still redeem itself.

"I'm an optimist,” she said. “Countries make mistakes, but I'd like for us to own it and regain our standing in the international community."

Click here to learn more about Task Force Pineapple.

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