LEWISTON, Maine — Safaa Wadi moved to this former mill city after his life was threatened in his native Iraq while serving as an interpreter for the U.S. Army. He expects to soon head back to Iraq -- not as a civilian interpreter, but as a U.S. soldier.
Wadi arrived in the United States in September with a special immigrant visa for Iraqi and Afghan interpreters. But with his savings nearly depleted and unable to land a decent job, Wadi enlisted in the Army. He begins training in South Carolina on Monday.
Wadi isn't worried about returning to Iraq, where many of his countrymen considered him a traitor because he worked with American forces. His allegiance is now to the United States, he says.
"I want to serve this country because this country returned to me my life," Wadi said. "If I had stayed in Iraq, I'd be dead now."
To read the rest of Safaa Wadi's story, go here.