May 29th, 2017
Ping! A sniper, from the upper stories of a hospital, took a shot at Iraqi soldiers in the building behind us, taunting. The hotel with a collapsed roof threatened to crush us. An air strike was coming. We moved down the hill. I crept behind this wall along with my translator, D'lo. The hot sun baked us. Sniper rounds continued to ping off the building. I watched in horror as Iraqi soldiers ran along the path open to the sniper with heads down. We shouted at them to hurry. Khanas! Sniper! They safely made it and walked into the safe zone behind the hotel building just as the airstrike landed next to the hospital across the street. Smoke rose skyward.
My translator, D’lo, is one of the bravest men I know. His love for his people and God (Allah) was clearly evident. D’lo was willing to give his life at a moments notice. He ran into extremely dangerous situations to protect and translate for us English speakers. I love him like a brother.