The Jefferson Co-couple serves as the lifeline to American woman, 17 Afghan people

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) – Ellen Perez and her husband embarked on a dangerous and difficult journey back in August following their commitment to help rescue 17 Afghan people and a woman who said she was a U.S. citizen from Afghanistan.

“It has completely changed our lives,” Perez said. “I never think one can become the same after being involved in something like that.”

Perez’s husband served in Afghanistan ten years ago, working with Afghan interpreters, who at times kept him alive.

“At one point, he (the interpreter) perceived what he thought was a threat to my husband and stepped in front of my husband to take the bullet for him,” Perez said.

Perez told WVLT News that she has reached out to any politician and almost anyone who wants to listen to their story. Her efforts have reached out to Congressman Mark Green’s office, who only said they have “helped more people get out of Afghanistan.”

The group in Kabul contacts Perez daily to confirm emails or warnings from local authorities. Small talk is just that, but she tries to hold on to small special moments.

“She teaches English to some of the kids and she wanted them all to say hello, how are you with me,” Perez said.

The Perez family lives in a family with several homes that could house the families. Through private donors, Perez raised nearly $ 500,000 for private charter flights and special assistance. As soon as the money is collected, it is spent. So the family has set up a fundraiser to support the families’ ongoing need for medical, food and shelter.

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