This powerful story from the Marine Corps Times illustrates a couple of essential points: 1) America’s Iraqi allies have been indispensable in Iraq and its military men and women know it, and 2) the process of making a new life for those same Iraqi allies can be positively grueling.

Peering through the window of a white SUV parked next to an Iraqi armory, Lt. Col. Michael Zacchea watched intently as the plot to murder him and the seven other U.S. military advisers to the Iraqi army’s 5th Motorized Rifle Battalion got underway. One insurgent and four Iraqi soldiers jumped into a white Nissan pickup truck piled high with rocket-propelled grenades, AK47s, night-vision goggles, ammunition and body armor, all freshly stolen from the battalion’s armory. The plan was to ambush the two Marines and six soldiers sleeping in their bunks next to their Iraqi counterparts and then escape in the ensuing chaos.

Tipped off to the plot a few days earlier, Zacchea called on his most trusted interpreter to help root out the Iraqi turncoats and set a trap to catch the assassins in the act. More than two years later, the interpreter who helped foil the plot and save Zacchea’s life now lives with the Marine officer and his wife in their modest suburban Connecticut home amid other New York City commuters and a world away from the sectarian violence enveloping Iraq…

Be sure to read the complete article.

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