Support our troops

Heartfelt thanks; visiting 9/11 family members meet and thank troops at Gitmo guarding detainees

Heartfelt Thanks
Story by Army Staff Sgt. Emily J. Russell
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs

GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba (July 20, 2009) — For some service members, serving at Joint Task Force Guantanamo is one more chapter in the book they call life. For others, the significance of the mission holds a deeper meaning — more personal — especially for service members who have lost friends, loved ones or know someone affected by the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

For the Soldiers of the 189th Military Police Co., the mission became more personal when family members of September 11 attack victims, visiting Guantanamo during the recent military commissions proceedings, made a special effort to say “thank you,” and convey gratitude, face to face, for a job well done.

Obama admin denies heroic Iraqi translator asylum; may grant it to Uighur terrorists

By way of both the Gateway Pundit and Black Five, I came across this Fox News report:

An Iraqi translator who has earned commendations for risking his life repeatedly to save the lives of many American soldiers in combat has been denied a visa to live in the United States because of nonviolent actions he took to overthrow Saddam Hussein — at the same time the U.S. government was calling for regime change in Iraq. Jasim, whose name is being withheld for his safety, has received strong support from the U.S. military, and the Department of Homeland Security approved his application for a visa. But the State Department has denied Jasim a visa because he was arrested in 1996 for actions against the Saddam dictatorship. … Because Iraqi translators are seen by jihadists and former Baathists as “traitors,” Jasim’s life is at greater risk the longer he stays in Iraq, according to multiple State Department and U.S. military officials. A number of translators and their families have already been tortured and/or murdered.

During his three years as a translator, Jasim has exposed himself to enemy fire in the course of saving American lives. Three different Americans who served with him in Iraq told that they are alive today because of Jasim. “The only reason I am here today is because of Jasim,” said Elisabeth Keene, a U.S. Army specialist who serves in a combat unit. “He saved the life of everyone in my unit. On several occasions while our guys were putting rounds down range, Jasim put himself in harm’s way to pull the wounded out and treat them,” Keene said. “Jasim is a hero to everyone he has ever met.” “I owe my life to Jasim … hands down,” said Master Sgt. Jason Krieger, who went on over 200 combat patrols with Jasim. “I consider him a brother, not only in arms, but in love as well.” Those who have worked with Jasim are astonished at the decision to deny him a visa. has obtained numerous letters submitted by U.S. Army and Marine Corps personnel supporting his application. Each letter praises his heroism in glowing terms and strongly recommends issuing a visa. Jasim even received letters of recommendation from a couple of two-star generals. It is unusual for a translator’s visa application to be endorsed even by one general.

On March 19, 2009, the Wall Street Journal reported: