In 2009, Army Sergeant Paul Braun (right) was serving near Basra, Iraq with the 34th Military Police Company of the Minnesota National Guard. They were assigned an interpreter the American soldiers named “Philip” (left).

During the next nine months, Paul and Philip grew close—so close that upon returning to the U.S., Paul sponsored Philip’s visa. They now live together in Minnesota.

Philip’s wife and children were forced to stay behind in Iraq, and in October 2014, Philip returned to his home country to try to reach his family and bring them back to the U.S.

Before leaving, Philip and Paul sat down for a conversation at StoryCorps.

Originally aired October 18, 2014, on NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday.