One Story

His nickname was Flash, because the handful of southern-American soldiers that came to work with him felt more comfortable with a nickname than his real name.  His Iraqi name.

He translated for these four men in a remote post southeast of Baghdad.  He befriended them.  He joined in video phone conversations with families  on occasion, laughed with our soldiers, and with us.

In my closet, I have two beautiful outfits unlike anything else I own.  Sent by Flash’s mother and sister, they are silky and decadent traditional Iraqi garb in rich colors and with elaborate detailing.  They wanted their new friend’s wife to know they liked him.  To know that they are real people, welcoming and friendly.

I was so grateful, I began making a quilt for his family as a thank you gift.  His wife was pregnant, and I wanted to send them something that is traditionally American.

My husband came home.  The baby was born.  And we got an email from Flash desperately asking if we could somehow get him out of there.  If there was any way our military or government could bring his family out of that place.  It seems insurgents do not appreciate their fellow citizens aiding our soldiers.  During one of his absences, Flash’s family had been visited by men looking for him.  They carried weapons.

We did not know what to do for him.  The waiting list for asylum was simply too long.

And now there is a baby girl in Iraq who will never know the father who did what he believed was right for his nation, and was taken away in the night and murdered.

I never finished the quilt.

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2 Responses to “One Story”

  1. You could still finish the quilt. and send it to one of the other soldiers still there who knew him and might could find a way to get it to that baby girl, in her fathers honor – a keepsake for her own child one day. A legacy of love, just as you have the two beautiful dresses from the family of a man who helped your husband return to you.

  2. I’m so sorry Jennifer! I agree with Talula…..find a way to send the quilt to his family. This is a story that needs to be heard (i.e. contact a national news association). The pain of war is in the relationships and complexities that we often don’t hear about. Maybe you’ll meet his little girl some day in the future that you just can’t imagine now (let’s imagine peace in the middle east, stable democracy, etc…)

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