By John Lauritsen

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — An Iraqi man who helped save the lives of American soldiers overseas is trying to bring his family to America.

Soldiers helped bring Philip to Minnesota last December, after he served as an interpreter for them during the war.

He uses the nickname Phillip, which American soldiers gave him, in the interest of protecting his identity.

Now, he is going back to war-torn Iraq with the hope of bringing his wife and kids to Minnesota.

Philip’s dream was to live in America and have a better life — and he has Paul Braun to thank, the man he calls his brother.

Paul and his fellow soldiers worked for four years to give Phillip a new life in Minnesota, after he saved their lives in Iraq.

“Philip risked his life and saved ours on more than one occasion,” Paul said. “He helped bring us home to our families, so now we’re trying to get Phillip reunited with his family from Iraq.”

So within the next couple of months, Philip will be returning to Iraq for his wife and four children.

“My enjoyment’s not, you know, it’s not complete,” Phillip said. “I miss my family. I want them also to see what I’m seeing here,” Philip said.

He wants to bring them to Minnesota, and he’ll risk his life to do it.

“ISIS, the biggest fear,” he said.

Once in Iraq, Philip won’t have the protection of U.S. soldiers.

Phillip and Paul agree that there’s about a 50-percent chance he won’t return alive.

Still, the very thought of having his family in a place with no checkpoints and no war makes the risk more than worth it.

“You know, the people, they care about me. I mean the people who know me, they care about me,” Phillip said. “I appreciate that, but I have to go.”

It will cost about $18,000 to bring Philip’s family to Minnesota.

Paul and his fellow soldiers have started a “GoFundMe” page for Phillip.

Click here if you would like to donate.

John Lauritsen