He Worked for the U.S. Military in Iraq. Now, He Suffers Alone in an Arlington Apartment.
This morning's Los Angeles Times visits Arlington to the story of Malek Hadi, an Iraqi who lost all of his right leg, some of his left leg and several of his fingers in September 2006. At the time the explosive shattered his Humvee outside of Baghdad, Hadi was employed by the U.S. military as an interpreter for the 89th Military Police Brigade out of Fort Hood. He's but one of the more than 1,200 interpreters working with U.S.-led coalition forces who's been killed or injured since the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. And, as a joint investigation by The Los Angeles Times and ProPublica reveals, he's among the many now living in the States on a few dollars a month.
According to the story Hadi now lives in "a crime-ridden neighborhood in Arlington," where he spends most of his time "watching Arabic television and texting friends back home." He receives $612 a month in disability after refusing to accept AIG's initial settlement offer of $60,000 -- a lump-sum payment intended to make him to go away. This, despite the fact one AIG examiner said only last year that he was "clearly entitled" to benefits. (ProPublica made available last night all of the documents related to AIG's handling of Hadi's case.) Hadi, who was poorly fitted with a prosthetic right leg and who has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, tells T. Christian Miller: "I lost my leg. My life is broken. For what?"
As a side note, the extraordinary portraits of Hadi that accompany the piece were taken by good friend of the show Allison V. Smith.
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