United pilot records emotional video after landing at military airbase to rescue Afghan evacuees
A United pilot who made the “arduous and difficult journey” out of Afghanistan at the age of nine joins 800 volunteers transporting refugees from military bases to their new homes in the United States as he remembers the “pain of leaving loved ones behind”
- United Airlines pilot Zak K., whose last name is withheld for his safety, posted moving video after landing at Ramstein Air Base to rescue Afghan refugees
- Zak arrived in the United States from Afghanistan at the age of nine
- “I know what an arduous and difficult journey they have endured and the uncertainty they face and the pain of leaving loved ones behind.”
- Zak’s international flight was one of five flights made, a United Airline spokesperson told DailyMail.com.
- Zak is already on his second flight back to Ramstein Air Base as a translator
- United Airlines told DailyMail.com on Friday that they had transported between 1,500 and 2,000 evacuees to the United States and that the mission is continuing.
A United Airlines pilot, who came to the United States from Afghanistan at the age of nine, broke down in a moving video after landing at Ramstein Air Base to rescue Afghan evacuees.
While fighting back tears, First Officer Zak K. said: “I am already getting very emotional and suffocated at the thought of facing our passengers.
“I know what an arduous and difficult journey they have endured and the uncertainty they face and the pain of leaving loved ones behind.”
Zak paused for a moment to pull himself together.
“So I’m just going to have to pull myself together here and focus on the mission.” And the mission is to get them safely and also comfortably into their new homes.
Zak K. and his crew after landing at Ramstein Air Base in Germany
The 57-second video has been shared over 5,700 times on Twitter, and Zak’s honest moment of vulnerability has the Twitterverse praising him as a hero.
A United Airlines spokesperson told DailyMail.com that Zak returned safely to the United States on one of five completed United Airlines missions and is already on a second flight home to recover more Afghan evacuees.
He works as a translator on this flight.
“I am motivated by a great sense of duty and honor to my Afghan roots, my American citizenship, my employer United Airlines and my own children.
“I want to be able to look at my sons in the Y and tell them that I have participated and helped in any way I can,” Zak wrote in his letter to CEO Scott Kirby explaining why he wanted to volunteer for this mission.
United Airlines posted the statements on Twitter on Friday evening after Zak K.’s video was widely shared
United Airlines said it was among 8,000 employees who have signed up to work on international flights in coordination with the Department of Defense.
United Airlines told DailyMail.com on Friday that they had transported between 1,500 and 2,000 evacuees to the United States and that the mission is continuing.
According to flight trackers, United Airlines is flying to Ramstein Air Base in Germany, which is a US Air Force base that was quickly turned into an evacuation center.
Ramstein Air Base officials on Friday said about 76 US Air Force planes had arrived with more than 18,700 evacuees.
More than 4,100 evacuees have already left on 18 flights to their resettlement sites.