After years of living in a war-torn country, an Iraqi man is starting a new life in Minnesota with the help of some American soldiers he met overseas. Twelve days ago, Khalid, known by American soldiers as “Phillip,” arrived in the Twin Cities. “Twelve days without any check points. Nobody asks me where I’m going, you know, all the security stuff. And you feel safe,” Khalid said. “The first three, four days [it] was exciting. First time to see snow, you know. All this nice weather, but now, I feel cold.”
There are a lot of good stories this time of year about people giving back. But the greatest gift this holiday season may be what Twin Cities war veteran Paul Braun gave to an Iraqi man he met while overseas. The man, known as Phillip, put his life on the line to serve as an interpreter for Braun and his fellow soldiers. Braun first met Phillip, whose real name is Khalid, when he was assigned to the 34th Military Police company in Basra, Iraq in 2009.