Fort Hood and the invisibility of Arab Americans

The role Arab-Americans play in the military:

Consider Navy SEAL Mike Monsoor who threw himself on a grenade in Iraq on September 29, 2006. The device had landed among SEALs and Iraqi soldiers, and Monsoor absorbed the blast with his body, saving everyone’s life but his own. For his act of self sacrifice, he was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor last year.

Then there’s Lance Corporal Abraham al-Thaibani of New York who enlisted with the Marines after his city was attacked on 9/11. On the day the World Trade Center towers fell, al-Thaibani ran through the streets of Brooklyn looking for his veiled wife to protect her from any potential backlash. He went to war in Iraq, a battleground chosen by American leaders for reasons that were unclear to him. He focused his efforts on seeing that every Marine he knew came home alive and tried to help Iraqi civilians where he could.

Abe’s brother followed in his footsteps, enlisting and serving in Fallujah. He won the Purple Heart for his service.