Middle East

The Libertarian Veteran and His Translator


The Wash Post reports on Joey Coon, who works at the Cato Institute and is a vet who served in Iraq, and his successful effort to bring his translator to the U.S.:

They became good buddies during the war, the young American soldier and his invaluable Iraqi translator, an easygoing guy who could spot dangers in the shadows and calm jittery nerves in the streets.

When it was time to go home, Joey Coon, then an Army National Guard sergeant, set up an e-mail account for his translator, Bandar Hasan. He gave his friend a quick lesson on how to use it so they could stay in touch.

Joey didn't expect much. Bandar wasn't familiar with computers. But he did call on occasion, and the two joked about him coming to America one day, an idea that seemed far-fetched.

That all changed one morning when Bandar called Joey, his voice tense, his message urgent. He was no longer a translator, he was on the run and in fear of his life.

"He was very scared and worried and thought he was in a lot of danger," Joey says, recalling how this conversation differed from others. "It was less about two guys joking, 'Hey buddy, won't it be fun when you come to the U.S.,' and more like 'Joey I need to get the heck out of here!'"

Joey knew Bandar had risked his life for him and other American soldiers.

Now he was determined to do all he could to save him.

Read the whole thing.