Attacks in Kabul make Fairport man’s impossible job even harder

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FAIRPORT, N.Y. (WHEC) — Joe Chenelly is upset and angry over what he saw in Kabul Thursday. And it’s making his impossible job of saving lives even harder.

"Today has really been a gut punch to get this close and see this happen now," he said in a Zoom interview from his office in Washington D.C.

Chenelly is an Afghanistan veteran. He’s from Fairport.

His organization, called AMVETS, is trying to rescue Afghans who helped Americans during the war.

Brean: "How many people have you been able to get out of Afghanistan since, I guess, the Taliban took over?"

Joe Chenelly: "Directly? Five.

He still has 15 on his list.

Brean: "Joe, would it be fair to say there are people, Afghans that you are trying to get out of the country who would be waiting around the airport right now and would have potentially been outside that gate where the attack happened?"

Chenelly: "Yes."

Brean: "So you’re desperately trying to get those folks out of there."

Chenelly: "Right. And we don’t have a safe way for them to get to the airport and now even if they get to the airport it’s pretty clear to them at this point they’re not safe there."

Chenelly’s group and 44 others like it asked to meet with President Biden. They are scheduled to meet with senior White House staff Friday.