Each year tens of thousands gather in Tempe, Ariz. — and across the country — to run 4.2 miles in honor of war hero Pat Tillman (his jersey number was 42). This year’s run, on April 26th, was especially significant for Marine Capt. Adrian Kinsella. Not only is he the recipient of a coveted scholarship given to only 60 returning military, out of the thousands of applicants each year, by the foundation built in Pat Tillman’s name, but he is also celebrating a personal victory: He was able to run next to his Afghan interpreter Mohammad, whom he had helped secure a visa and a new life in the United States. “When he got here, I was able to finally say that I brought my whole platoon home,” Kinsella says.
As an Afghan interpreter for the U.S. military, Mohammad had put his life and his family members’ lives in danger. He sought asylum in America. Kinsella has spent the last three-and-a-half years fighting to get him here. With the help of the Tillman Foundation and other organizations, Kinsella reached out to politicians and media across the country and elicited the aid of 11 U.S. Senators and Congressmen to expedite the process. In January, Mohammad arrived. He is now living with Kinsella in San Francisco and has already landed a job at a video equipment manufacturer. Next step: The two are now working to get Mohammad’s family to the U.S.