Veteran Asks Congress to Grant Asylum to Iraqi Soldier Who Fought With Him
After three military combat tours in war-torn Iraq, Chase Millsap returned home to get on with a civilian life. But there was one thing he couldn’t do: leave a comrade behind.
Certainly not one who had saved his life. Especially not the former Iraqi army officer who, because he had worked with the Americans, is now living a precarious existence as a refugee dodging Islamic State group militants seeking to kill him.
The Captain, as Millsap calls him, is in hiding with his family these days as he attempts to gain refugee status from the United Nations and eventually move to the United States.
Millsap is headed to Washington on Tuesday.
There, he and other members of the nonprofit group Ronin Refugee Project, will meet with members of Congress to discuss ways of helping soldiers of foreign armies who fought alongside Americans get to the United States.
“I’m not advocating that everyone needs to come here but I definitely think that we should be helping to protect these people,” Millsap told ABC News. “Because in a lot of ways they are our first line of defense. He could go into a room of Iraqis and say ‘Chase is a good guy, we can trust him.'”
It is, he says, the least he can do for a man who saved him from taking a bullet fired by an Iraqi sniper.
“We really sort of became like brothers,” Millsap said. “We worked at the same checkpoint, it was my platoon that was there and he had another squad with about 12 soldiers.”
In 2014, Millsap received a call from The Captain, who said that he was hit by an IED, and was being hunted by ISIS.
“He had been called out, by name, by ISIS,” Millsap said, “and they were going after his kids. He said he needed my help, he wanted to come to America.”
That’s when Millsap decided to create the Ronin Refugee Project, a non-profit providing support to Iraqi and Afghan veterans, run by U.S. veterans.
The Captain and his family are currently staying in Turkey.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.