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He was just a 14-year-old when he gave up his family, his friends and his country for something he believed in. Later nicknamed "Steve-O" by the American troops he aided, this Iraqi teenager approached a U.S. checkpoint in Husaybah, Iraq, telling the American soldiers that his father was an officer under Saddam Hussein and that he knew where enemy cells were located. All he wanted in exchange was for the American soldiers to pretend to arrest him. The soldiers handcuffed him, put a sandbag over his head and brought him to the headquarters of the border checkpoint.

First Sgt. Daniel Hendrex and Capt. Chad M. Roehrman led Dragon Company in Iraq and say Steve-O became invaluable to American forces. Over several months, Steve-O went on 20 missions with Dragon Company and identified mujahadeen who were trying to gain access to their base. "Steve-O just happened to look at pictures of several high value targets," First Sgt. Hendrex says. "He started calling them by name. He knew where they lived, how they were connected. He turned out to be one of the greatest informants we had."
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FROM: Children Held Hostage
Published on September 23, 2004

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