When Sakhidad started working as a translator for the U.S. military in Afghanistan at the age of 19, he hoped his "faithful and valuable" service would earn him a special U.S. immigrant visa and eventual U.S. citizenship.
In 2011, after two years on the job, Sakhidad applied under a special visa program set up by the U.S. Congress to protect persecuted U.S. allies.
He waited four years for his application to be processed. But the U.S. government never finished reviewing his case.
In the spring of 2015, shortly after the closure of the U.S. base where he'd worked for five years, Sakhidad was abducted, tortured, and killed by the Taliban.
They left his body on the side of a road with a note stuffed in his pocket — a threat addressed to his three brothers saying they would also be killed because they had worked for U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
Maytham Alshadood came to the U.S. and Colorado in 2008 after years of serving as a combat interpreter for American troops in Iraq, but he quickly discovered a major hurdle to settling into his new home.
When he arrived in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on Dec. 7, with his wife, and five young children, Thomas, an Iraqi translator who served with American troops from 2003–2006, envisioned new beginnings in their new home.