U.S. Army Sgt. Zahraa Frelund first encountered American troops when she was escaping Iraqi soldiers who had assaulted her in Baghdad, having left her hometown of Babylon as a 19-year-old in 2009 seeking a job as an interpreter with the occupying U.S. force.
Running barefoot as the soldiers fired their AK-47s in her direction, troops from the same army in which her father had been an officer during the Saddam years, she bumped into a group of Americans dressed in civilian clothing. They scooped her up into a car and took her to safety just outside of Camp Liberty, a sprawling headquarters for American forces in the country.
The next day, Frelund found herself in the highest risk of job interviews. She begged an American Army captain from the 1st Cavalry Division to give her a job and not force her to go back out to town, where she was sure she would be killed or sold into the sex trafficking underworld where so many Iraqi women had disappeared.
Read Next: Army Private’s Death and Claims of Harassment Again Shine Spotlight on Fort Hood
“You send me outside the base. No shoes, no clothes, no cover. I’m screwed. I’m definitely getting…