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Rep. Kim and Andrew Darlington

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Representative Young Kim (CA-40) announced attorney and former U.S. Marine Captain Andrew Darlington as her guest for President Biden’s State of the Union Address on Tuesday, February 7, 2023.

Captain Darlington deployed twice to Afghanistan’s Helmand Province in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and received the Purple Heart and other combat awards for his service. A longtime advocate for Afghan partners he served with, Captain Darlington worked closely with Rep. Kim’s office to help rescue allies following the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.

In particular, Rep. Kim’s office worked with Captain Darlington to evacuate Sayed Obaidullah Amin, who heroically served alongside Darlington and U.S. forces as a translator.  He was fighting to get his family to safety and had pending SIV, P1 and P2 visa applications when he tragically lost his life at Abbey Gate during the Kabul airport attack on August 26, 2021. Watch coverage of their story here and here. Rep. Kim spoke on the floor to honor Sayed Obaidullah Amin here.

“Brave Americans like Andrew stepped up to save lives, keep promises made to our allies and show leadership during the chaos following the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. He is a hero, and I am honored to have gotten to know him and call him a friend,” said Kim. “We cannot fully repay those who served or bring back the lives lost, but I hope that during the 118th Congress we are able to get answers and learn lessons so we do not repeat the mistakes that were made during the Afghanistan withdrawal.”

 “Ever since our deployment in 2012, Sayed Obaidullah Amin fought for the very freedom the United States promised for his service as a loyal and faithful interpreter. Unfortunately, Obaid’s death, along with those great Americans lost at Abbey Gate, are emblematic of the withdrawal: the highest echelons of leadership failed, while countless Americans, including former Marine and California native Jeremy Horton, Silver Star recipient Gunnery Sergeant Ken Rick, and Congresswoman Young Kim and her team, worked night and day trying to deliver where the State Department failed. Obaid’s last wishes were that his kids live with his favorite brother, and these wishes would not be realized today without Congresswoman Young Kim and her team. I am so thankful for her leadership as she continues to hold accountable those responsible for the catastrophic losses we suffered that horrible day, and those responsible for all interpreters still fighting Obaid’s fight for freedom,” said Darlington.

Rep. Kim serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and was actively working with Mr. Darlington and outside groups to evacuate Americans and Afghan partners following the Biden administration’s withdrawal from Afghanistan. Last Congress, she pressed Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the status of evacuations in a September 2021 hearing and introduced the Rescue Endangered SIVs and Citizens and Urgently Evacuate to Safety (RESCUES) Act to establish congressional oversight of the State Department’s management of private Afghanistan evacuation operations.   

Rep. Kim outlined her thoughts on the Biden administration’s Afghanistan withdrawal in an op-ed for the Orange County Registerhere.

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