Eric Sebastian with Afghanistan interpreter

Pfc. Eric Sebastian, left, with an Afghanistan interpreter he called Ayebee, in Afghanistan's northern Kunduz Province between February 2011 and February 2012.

Ayebee fears for his life.

The former interpreter for American troops, now married with kids, desperately wants to get his family out of Afghanistan.

“He is terrified of being beheaded right now,” said Eric Sebastian, a former infantryman who served in Afghanistan’s northern Kunduz Province from 2011 to 2012 and developed a deep friendship with him.

“I’m not real hopeful that it’s going to be successful to get him out. I know they are executing and beheading anybody they find who willingly worked with the Americans."

Tens of thousands of Afghanistan nationals who worked with the U.S. military are in danger of being killed now that the country has fallen to the Taliban.

An estimated 18,000 Afghan allies and 53,000 family members were stuck in a backlog earlier this year while awaiting special immigrant visas, according to Migration Policy Institute. The White House is working to speed up visa processing.

The U.S. went to war in Afghanistan following the 9/11 terrorist attacks and is planning to end its military operations in Afghanistan at the end of the month after nearly 20 years.

Sebastian, 30, has communicated with Ayebee multiple times since mid-July, when Ayebee reached out to see if there was anything Sebastian could do to help.

The two built their friendship while serving most of the deployment at a small combat outpost manned by a roughly 40-person platoon.

The soldiers’ mission was to win hearts and minds by providing protection from the Taliban and making sure area villagers had what they needed.

“I wanted to serve because it gave me direction, purpose and drive,” said Sebastian, who now lives in Sedalia, northwest of Castle Rock.

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Ayebee volunteered to serve as an interpreter for other reasons.

“He wasn’t there just because he needed a job, he was there because he wanted Afghanistan to have some of the same promises as America,” the former private first class said. “He believed things were better because we were there and he wanted to be a part of that."

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The Taliban captured every major city in the country in the past few weeks, and took control of the capital, Kabul, on Sunday.

Colorado Springs Republican Congressman Doug Lamborn said he is stunned at the speed the Taliban took over the country.

“It is important that we, as a nation, stand by those who stood by us,” Lamborn said.

“It is important, number one, that we send a message that we’re reliable and we will be protecting those that put their safety in our hands. And secondly, it is morally important, because we don’t just want to abandon those who are in danger now to those who may want to retaliate and inflect punishment upon them.”

Three of Lamborn's colleagues from Colorado’s congressional delegation are working with Broomfield Army veteran Scott Henkel to save an interpreter he worked with while deployed in Afghanistan.

CBS4 reported Henkel is being aided by Reps. Joe Neguse, D-Lafayette, Jason Crow, D-Aurora, and Ken Buck, R-Windsor, in his efforts to evacuate the interpreter from Kabul.

“We cannot leave this hero behind,” Buck said in a tweet.

According to the CBS4 story, Henkel has been trying to win visas for the interpreter, his wife and their four young children for a decade. But the urgency to get the family out of Afghanistan ratcheted up in recent days as Taliban forces stormed through Afghanistan, capturing the country’s major cities in the wake of the U.S. troop withdrawal.

“We deployed hundreds of times together, in conditions that were extreme heat and extreme cold, as well as extreme danger,” Henkel told CBS4 in an interview. “The United States of America committed to him and other interpreters that we will take care of you, that we will be there for you.”

The story indicated Sens. John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet, both Denver Democrats, are involved in the effort to rescue the interpreter and his family.

Buck also tweeted the email hotline his office set up to help Americans and those who aided American forces in Afghanistan has been busy over the last 24 hours.

During that period, Buck said his office had been notified of seven cases of Americans trapped in Afghanistan and an additional 10 cases of family members of those granted visas for their worked with the U.S. Armed Forces who need help fleeing the Taliban.

About 300 Afghan interpreters or family members have been killed since 2001 because of their relationship with the U.S., according to the nonprofit No One Left Behind, which helps interpreters get visas.

With the Taliban in control of most of the country, Sebastian is unsure if there is a way for Ayebee and his family to safely leave the country.

Sebastian assisted in getting letters from military commanders who worked with Ayebee 10 years ago to help him in his attempt to get visas for his family. But now, with the Taliban firmly in control of the country, Ayebee may be unable to travel around freely to submit the required paperwork.

A fundraising GoFundMe page is planned for Ayebee.

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“Maybe if we can get him a couple grand, he can bribe his way out of the situation he is in,” Sebastian said.

“I’m embarrassed that our government would allow this to happen in a country that we promised security to,” he added. “We went in there, we disrupted people lives. We said at the end of it that things were going to be better and we going to be there to try to protect them until they were ready to do it themselves. And then we abandoned them.”

Sebastian is beside himself with the state of things in Afghanistan.

“I was always proud to be an American,” he said. “Even when I met people who didn’t like Americans, I always tried to tell them why it is such a wonderful place to be from and why I’m so lucky to be here.

"I’ve never been embarrassed of being an American until now.”

Colorado Politics' Pat Poblete contributed to this story.

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