Former Clinton marine rescues Afghan refugees, raises $40k for family

Travis Ervin served in Afghanistan back in 2010 and went toe to toe with the Taliban and spent three weeks rescuing a family from Afghanistan.
Published: Sep. 7, 2021 at 6:37 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 10, 2021 at 5:33 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Former U.S. Marine Travis Ervin of Clinton, along with the community, has raised more than $40,000 in less than a week for an Afghan family that escaped an on-going war in their home country.

The phrase, ‘leave no man behind,’ holds a new meaning to former U.S. Marine, Travis Ervin of Clinton. He told WVLT News he spent three weeks rescuing a family of seven from violence in Afghanistan.

“I lost 15 pounds. I wasn’t eating, I wasn’t drinking. My nerves were just shot. I felt the weight of the world on me to get this done,” Ervin said.

Ervin served in Afghanistan back in 2010 and went toe to toe with the Taliban. An Afghan interpreter was by his side.

“I’ve seen him (the interpreter) carry our dead and wounded marines. He deserves to be here. He put in his time,” Ervin said.

That interpreter and his family were desperate to escape the violence in their home country, but making it to safety wasn’t easy.

“They couldn’t get these kids through this crowd of people without being assaulted, crush, trampled. It was just a violent scene, so they couldn’t maneuver their way through these crowds,” said Ervin. “I had to physically find somebody on the ground and relay pictures to them saying this is what they look like.”

The rescue mission was successful and the family is headed to Ervin’s Clinton home this week.

“The United States owes this man, and his family, asylum. The chance at freedom. The chance for his children to go to school and not have to worry about getting abducted, getting shot or stepping on an IED. These are basic human rights that everybody should have,” Ervin said.

The community donated clothes, food and beds within weeks for the family, but will need more to adjust to their new home.

“It’s up to us. What are you going to do to make a difference?” Ervin said.

Click here to help and follow the family’s story.

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