Breaking news.... we have an update on the status of Alaa the Iraqi translator who is legally trying to come to the United States. Here is an email from Alaa:
hi every body.....
yesterday at the afternoon i get text message from my friend captain murray,the message say one word[approved],i wasnt think iam so lucky for getting my visa application signed by the General.i hope that but some fear inside me make me think its may be something else,so i called him and he told me that iam approved and my application complete ,the greatest thing in my life just happened to me,finally i have a real hope to make my dream and go to the states.that wasnt happened to me without your help,your strong litters of recomendation for me make me look great for the people how sign my paperwork,,captain murray help was great for me he do every thing for me,without him i wasnt be able to even start my application, he make me do all the process i very short time,i will not forget his help or yours as long iam alive and no matter i make it or not i will still apreciate that my friends you guys help me in spite that you are so busy,,,major rivers help was so important for the application ,i appreciate what he do to me even that i work with him for short period,,
if i make it to the state i will visit every one of you and buy him abeer[thats promise]but for captain i will buy him beer in texas for the rest of my life....
i will never forget that my friends...
and from the Captain.
Alaa is the interpreter and pharmacist that works with me daily here. There is a program that grants US citizenship to linguists after a period of admirable service. Alaa isn’t tasked to me, but rather a different subordinate unit. His work with me is voluntary- and he does it out of a sense of altruism, and service to his people. I have been in contact with people who’ve worked with this gentleman consecutively since we came to Iraq- and all are of the same opinion as I am… he’s a great man, and the type of person we want to have as a United States citizen.
I had a hasty phone call from Alaa after I sent him the “approved” text message… and his excitement was amazing. It was a tremendous feeling to share his excitement for something that so many of us take for granted… the ability to live in a safe place, with the freedoms to talk to who we want to, worship the way that we please, and very nearly do whatever we want- without fear for our lives. I told him his packet came back from the Commanding General, and would be forwarded to the USCIS after we came up with a $190 dollar money order. His English remained mostly English, but an excited non-understandable babble that only conveyed delight.
My wife has told me that if I accomplish nothing else on this trip- for at least one man, I’ve helped make a life-changing difference. And gotten a regular supply of beer in the process.
Can you imagine- freedom costs $190 dollars. And some dedicated service.