“We were about as close as people that don't speak the same language can be.”

Specialist Justin Cliburn deployed to Iraq in 2005 with the Oklahoma Army National Guard. His job was to train the Iraqi police in Baghdad.

When he sat down for StoryCorps with his wife, Deanne, he told her about his friendship with a young Iraqi boy named Ali.

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Recorded in Norman, Oklahoma
Music Info: Vladimir's Blues by Max Richter from the album The Blue Notebooks
Produced by Yasmina Guerda
Facilitated by Daniel Littlewood
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Click here for the transcript.