I sacrificed for my family.
I grew up in Herat, Afghanistan, and spent the first six years of my life under the shadow of the Taliban regime. To this day, there are entire chunks of my education that are missing because of what the Taliban stole from me. So when the United States came to my country to help us, there was not a question in my mind: I had to volunteer and do something to build a better future for myself, my brother and my three sisters.
My brothers in arms became my family
I joined the United States Army, and then the United States Marine Corps as an interpreter. I served seven different infantry battalions for over two and half years, starting in Garmser District and pushing to Marjah, clearing the way. During the tough and grueling days, I gained brothers and a camaraderie I never knew existed. I saw countless friends shot, wounded, and even die for this cause, but we had a mission—to push the Taliban out of Afghanistan. I knew we…