“Fox & Friends Weekend” host Pete Hegseth had high praise for his former translator in Afghanistan, Saboor Sakhizaada, who appeared on the show Wednesday to share a story about how his brother managed to escape Afghanistan without help from the Biden administration.
Hegseth served in the National Guard and deployed as a first lieutenant with the 3rd Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division to Iraq in 2006, serving as an infantry platoon leader. Returning to active duty in 2012 as a captain, he deployed to Afghanistan with the Minnesota Army National Guard, acting as a senior counterinsurgency instructor at the Counterinsurgency Training Center in Kabul.
Saboor credited Hegseth and U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz, R-Fla., for assisting the family in getting his brother out of Afghanistan.
“My family is filled with joy and happiness right now because we know we saved Habib and his family,” he told the Fox & Friends crew. “But we also know there are hundreds of Habibs out there right now behind the gate and they’re praying, praying to get out.”
Hegseth could not praise Saboor enough for all the help he provided the U.S. military.
“I’m in awe of Saboor. I’m in awe of what he did when I was there,” he said. “He was an interpreter. He was far more than that, he was our adviser. Not just for me but for hundreds and hundreds of U.S. and NATO troops who came through where he worked. He poured himself into — He was indispensable. Nothing happened without this man on the screen. For men and our mission in Afghanistan.”
Hegseth then pivoted to what Saboor is involved with now, things he has witnessed.
“The risk he has taken of his own life. The investment he has poured into not just his family and their young kids, and getting them across, but now other Afghans, and this story will be told, he continued. “It has nothing do with the Biden administration. It has nothing to do with the State Department and the bureaucracy. It has to do with courageous veterans. Members of Congress who wouldn’t quit. People on the ground.”
He said these individuals can’t be named because there are ongoing operations still taking place outside the gates of the airport in Kabul.
“This is happening as we speak,” Hegseth insisted, stressing that the U.S. is not living up to the promises made to Afghans who took a risk to help America.
Asked why he chose to help the U.S., Saboor explained he followed in the footsteps of his two older brothers after graduating high school.
“There was a sense of patriotism and sense of serving the nation in whatever capacity you could,” he explained. “So we wanted to build, because right in front of my eyes I saw my sisters not being able to go to school. They weren’t able to leave home and they weren’t able to get educated. So this was my way of fighting back. This was our way of fighting against a system we knew and lived that was unjust to portions of society, and even ourselves. We had to risk our lives to do this.”
Commenting on the current state of affairs, Saboor said, “It’s a shame. It’s a sad story, another chapter of [a] sad story in Afghanistan.”
Honored to be part of the team that got his brother Habib out, Saboor was adamant that the mission didn’t stop there.
“When we pulled my brother to safety, we knew this wasn’t the end of the story for us. We knew this wasn’t going to be just Habib, we have to save other Habibs out there,” he said. “And we are doing that. We are doing that, we have people from east coast to west coast from the north to the south of this nation that are praying for us. And we need every single prayer we can get because we are trying to save as many people as we can.”
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