BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – On Thursday, First News shared the story of a local Air Force doctor stationed in Afghanistan named James Mastriana. As unrest grows in Kabul, his father is thankful knowing his son is safe.
First News anchor Brooke Meenachan spoke with his parents again about James’ service.
“I didn’t realize how draining it was until he was safe,” said his dad, Rick Mastriana.
James has been in Afghanistan for four months and most recently stationed in Kabul. His parents said they’ve hardly slept for two weeks.
“It’s the not knowing. We just kept hoping and praying that we wouldn’t have to live every parent’s greatest fear and that’s to outlive their kids,” Rick said.
Fortunately, James was airlifted out of Kabul last Friday. But for his parents, the relief didn’t set in until they got his text.
“He said ‘I’m safe. Can’t go into it right now, Dad, been up over 40 hours. Just gonna try and get some sleep,'” Rick said.
James is now in a refugee camp in Qatar, almost 1,200 miles away from Kabul.
He treats hundreds of Afghan refugees each day.
“One of the things he does feel good about is that he’s finally able to help people and be a doctor and do what he is trained for,” his dad said.
Despite the relief knowing his son is safe, Rick has just one more plea.
“Get my son home,” he said. “Of course we’d love to see him home tomorrow. Is that really going to happen? Probably not. No one really knows. We’ll have to see where this whole situation goes.”
Rick said he’s not sure what James’ next step is, and he prays not only for the safe return of his son, but all of the US troops and Afghan refugees.