LANSING, Mich. –
Army Pvt. Fahad Al-Kadhim, a motor transport operator with the 1461st Transportation Company, Michigan Army National Guard, poses after his first annual training with his unit driving in Operation Patriot Press, Fort Custer Training Center, Augusta, Michigan, May 25, 2021.
Born and raised in Baghdad, Iraq, Al-Kadhim captured by Al-Qaeda at age 17 after his family assisted the Americans during the Iraq War. After his family paid the ransom, he went on to become an interpreter for the U.S. Army in Iraq between 2008 and 2011. After coming to America, Al-Kadhim enlisted in the Michigan Army National Guard in 2020.
"I joined the National Guard for the pride of being part of the U.S. Army," he said. "I wanted to use my knowledge as a truck driver and instructor to help the Army. I'm so thankful and proud that I made my dream true. My goal is to establish my own family and to be able to give the life they deserve."