Lowcountry veteran part of nationwide effort to evacuate Afghans


CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- A veteran from Charleston is one of many former service members across South Carolina and the entire country who are trying to help Afghans who aided the U.S. military evacuate from Kabul.

“It’s certainty been an historical event that I didn’t think I’d be a part of,” said Michael Burris, who was asked to help the effort.

While he did not serve in Afghanistan, Burris says that he felt a calling to do everything he could to help.

“I’ve been inspired dramatically by the thousands of veterans who have also answered that call,” said Burris. “It is showing the better angels of our country. It’s showing how folks come together in a time of crisis to help those in need.”

Burris knows that the effort he is helping is only a part of the evacuation.

“Our efforts, my efforts in particular are a grain of sand on a beach compared to everything that is going on,” said Burris.

One of those efforts is the work being done by Joint Base Charleston to evacuate Afghan citizens.

The base has been sending aircraft and crews to Kabul for the past several days.

“If you drive by the flight line right now at the backside of the airport you’ll see there are very few airplanes there because they are heavily engaged as usual,” said retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Erik Hansen. “A few nights ago they had a huge surge where they generated a lot of airplanes.”

Even though he is retired, Burris is proud of fighting for a case that he believes in.

“What keeps me in this fight is seeing all of my fellow veterans and all the people that support us continuing to go after this despite the difficulty that exists on the ground in Afghanistan,” said Burris.

President Joe Biden says that the U.S. is on schedule to finish it’s withdrawal of troops by the August 31 deadline.

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