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Word quickly spread that Steve-O was assisting the Americans. There was a bounty on his head. His mother had been shot and killed. "We did everything that we possibly could to keep him protected, covering him so people couldn't identify him," Capt. Roehrman says. For five months Steve-O lived with the company and became very close to many of the soldiers. The bond the company had with Steve-O would prove unbreakable, and the soldiers' No. 1 priority became the teen's safety. "I just wanted him to know how much he had meant to us and this company would never give up on him to get him out of harm's way," First Sgt. Hendrex says.

Oprah: How did you get the courage to go to the American soldiers?

Steve-O: [My father] asked me to be with the mujahadeen, to kill Americans, and I [didn't] want that—because I saw the Americans were good…. They didn't come to harm us. They helped us.

Steve-O is now in the U.S., as his mother has been killed and he is unprotected in Iraq with other family and friends. First Sgt. Hendrex says he's working to get Steve-O medical attention for wounds inflicted by his own father, as well as funds for an education.
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FROM: Children Held Hostage
Published on September 23, 2004

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