"Once you start working for the U.S. Army in Iraq, you are finished"

Joseph moved to the United States in May 2009, after an Army colonel with whom he had worked during two combat tours helped him get a green card.

Another Army officer arranged for Joseph to move in with his mother in Tucson. He spent his first three months in the country watching television, eating junk food and sleeping. His long stints living with American soldiers in Iraq had made the adjustment relatively easy. “I didn’t have any culture shock at all,” he said.

He took a job playing an Iraqi civilian in U.S. military training exercises. Six months later, he decided to enlist in the Army and become a military translator. He joined for practical reasons: It would speed his application for U.S. citizenship and give him money for college. He also missed the rush of combat and the feeling that he was doing something to help Iraq.

“The war and working for the Army was my life,” he said. “Pretty much, your job is your life, and that was my first job.”