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"A conference is a gathering of important people who singly can do nothing, but together can decide that nothing can be done" - Fred Allen
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- Fighting For Their Country
- An Indian Martyr In the US Army
- Un-Conventional Choice
- Gates of Freedom Require Vigilance and Sacrifice
- Saving the Whole World
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Wednesday April 26, 2017
Cover Theme: South Asians In the U.S. Military
Gates Of Freedom Require Vigilance And Sacrifice
Vol: 1 Num: 2    Spring 2006
He was inspired by Jefferson and was working for the betterment of local Iraqis when a car bomb took his life.

He told his soldiers to "hit the dirt", and walked toward a yellow taxi that neared them, motioning it to stop, just before it blew up. The commanding officer of 27 year old Captain Humayun Saquib Muazzam Khan relayed the details of his final moments to his father.

Khan, an ordnance officer of the 201st Forward Support Battalion, 1st Infantry Division, is the highest ranking U.S. military officer of South Asian origin to die in Iraq. He was the protection officer for the base and wasn’t supposed to be on duty that early on June 8, 2004.

Iraqis were crowding the US army base gate and as the officer in charge, Khan came out to stream line the crowd and saw a taxi racing towards the gate. He realized the danger and ordered his soldiers to hit the ground and moved forward to stop the taxi, which suddenly exploded.

Khizr and Ghazala Khan, his parents are proud of his heroics and say that details of the incidence give them consolation but it is still hard to assess the loss.

A graduate of University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Khan was born in the United Arab Emirates on Sept. 09, 1976. His family came to the USA from Pakistan when he was two years old. He grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland. He joined ROTC in college in part to pay for law school. His initial tour of duty was to be up a month earlier but was extended indefinitely.

As a young child Khan was inspired by the Jefferson Memorial and the inscriptions on its walls. He studied the third President whose writings influenced him to write the essay for admission to the UVA. His father, Khizr Khan, will never forget the title of that essay, Gates of Freedom Require Vigilance and Sacrifice.

True to his promise, Khan was trying to help the locals by spearheading the hiring of them to work at the U.S. base in Baquba. Before his efforts most of the work around the base was contracted out to nationals of other countries. Khan began to hire locals and they appreciated it a lot. Hundreds of Iraqis wrote letters to his parents showing their appreciation.

He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. The Army ROTC at the UVA instituted Capt. Humayun S. M. Khan Award to be presented each year to a fourth year cadet chosen by classmates for demonstrable courage and selfless sacrifices throughout the year.

The experience of the army is such that most people wouldn’t exchange it for anything else. Khan was no exception as his father told Washington Post, "He once said that he could not think of anything but being an Army officer."

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is the publisher and editor-in-chief of Mood Indico magazine, a niche publication for the affluent South Asians living in the north America

 

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