LYNCHBURG, Va. – A Lynchburg man is heading to Washington D.C. with big aspirations. On Sept. 11, the veteran will take a stand at the Capitol for the Americans and allies that were left behind in Afghanistan.
Learn, earn and return: That’s the motto Jonathan Baum lived by during his time in Iraq. Now, as a retired vet living in Lynchburg, he has a new motto: No one left behind.
“I see it as an unfolding tragedy,” he says.
In one of the largest airlifts in history, the U.S. evacuated around 120,000 people from Afghanistan prior to their withdrawal. At least 100 Americans and thousands of Afghan allies were left behind, something all too reminiscent for Baum.
“I couldn’t believe we had a goal of August 31 to be out of the country,” he says. “I’m extraordinarily concerned about my Afghan national army brothers in arms.”
Baum is attempting to answer the around-the-clock call for help coming from Afghanistan. It’s why he’s making the trek to Washington D.C. with a stack of applications pushing to evacuate those at risk.
“A month ago they were colonels, majors, sergeants and now they are homeless. This war isn’t over,” he says. “For me, it’s been reawakened.”
Baum says in going alone, all he can do is give them hope. He adds, maybe, that’s all they need.