THE story of the iraqi man u.s. NAVY SEALS call 'brother'
written by jim defelice, author of american sniper
My America is your America, and your America is mine. It is a refuge and a dream, a place of freedom and respite, responsibility and wonder. To have arrived here, after the journey I took, after the bombs and gunfire and killings, the beheadings and kidnappings, the dangers, after everything that has happened in my life: the idea that I am free now, and the knowledge of everything it means, fills me with gratitude. I am thankful for every moment and every breath. I am grateful to the SEALs who risked their lives for my family, grateful for the sacrifices of other servicemen and women, grateful to my neighbors and new friends who have welcomed me to this land of large dreams and open skies. Every day, I live a dream. My dream. But unlike many dreams, mine began amid a nightmare – a murderous war in Iraq that destroyed not only the lives of many of my friends and relatives, but of an entire country and culture. That destruction began long before the war I fought in. Long before that conflict began, Iraq was a broken country, a place ruled more by fear than law, a place where making a decent living was for many an impossible dream. The American war brought hope to the disenfranchised Iraqis. But soon that hope evaporated, replaced by violence and bloodshed. The Americans were an excuse but not the cause of this nightmare. The hatred and villainy it engendered tore what had been my country apart; its effects continue to this day. . . .