I believe there will be always be good and evil, right and wrong, war and peace. I also believe that there are people who want only what is best for their country and their people, no matter who they are or where they live.
I ran into an Iraqi Interpreter I had met previously; he’s 20 now and has been doing this since he was 15 with various U.S. units, his last job being with a U.S. Special Operations unit. He’s seen and done a lot of stuff since the U.S. invasion. He did something selfless and brave and the story that’s told is that he saved a room full of people, both American and Iraqi one day when an Insurgent came rushing in with a grenade in his hand, the pin was pulled and his intention obviously was to blow everybody up. He was ready to die for the cause… except the interpreter, he was standing by the door and grabbed this guys hand with the grenade in it, held it closed and wrestled him to the ground in the middle of the room. The Insurgent couldn’t release the spoon of the grenade to blow everyone up, and was subsequently subdued and detained. The interpreter didn’t have to stay in there and do what he did; he could have easily escaped out the open door he was standing next to, but instead he elected to do something different. For a split second there was a fork in the road as some would say. I think it was different for him, there was no fork and only one thing could be done and that was save lives. He didn’t voluntarily tell me this story until I asked him too; I had already heard it from the other guys first. We ran into the interpreter a month or so later at an airfield when we were departing and headed back to HQ, he was coming home to visit his family before he went to join the Iraqi Army training the following month. I consider my self fortunate enough to know a young man like him, and lucky to have spent a week around him and share stories about ourselves. He was very interested in the United States and was actually torn between leaving the country he loves and trying to get to America and join the U.S. military so he can come back and help or stay in Iraq and go into his own army where the pay is much lower and conditions substandard compared to American. No matter where he goes he will be a tremendous asset. By the way, his father was shot four times by insurgents at close range but survived, it seems they didn’t like the fact that he wants the same as his son; a free country. So even his family has been through a lot and they want to stay and make things work for their beloved country. Amazing.
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