Army Staff Sgt. Ahmed lives in California, and serves with the Active Guard Reserve. But he didn't come into service the same way his colleagues did — he started as a translator in Iraq, for American troops.
In 2009, Ali J. Mohammed’s sister was working as translator for the U.S. military in Baghdad, Iraq. He was just 16 when his family began receiving threats from extremists, forcing them to flee their home and seek asylum in the United States.
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.