A Soldier, An Iraqi Orphan and the Family They Make
Captain Southworth describes the extraordinary circumstances by which he met his son.
I think it's important to understand the context in which Allah and I became buddies and then later on, a father and son. And that was a war zone in a third world country. I was serving as a commander of a military police company that was involved in a very intense mission that was attacked repeatedly. And we were struggling to rebuild the Iraqi police service under very difficult circumstances.
Allah, who suffers from extreme post-traumatic stress disorder, had lived through the bombing of Baghdad, was in an orphanage in the inner city, and they were-- the sisters and the kids-- struggling each and every day to make ends meet, and to take care of these little kids, all of whom had some type of a handicap. Allah himself was struggling with his own physical disability.
And so, for the two of us, who have not only lived through extraordinary, dangerous, deadly circumstances, but have survived through that, and survived through it together, struggling with the difficulties back here in the United States pale in comparison.