Special Friendship - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

06/24/2004

Special Friendship

What's more American than two men working on a pickup truck together? But for Sgt. First Class Gary Yeatts and Iraqi Mazin Al-Naimi, there's a lot more to their relationship than engines.

"He's like my brother," said Al-Naimi.

Yeatts's combat unit was in Baghdad when they received orders to restore power at a train station after it was looted. Yeatts went to Al-Naimi's shop for supplies.

Yeattes  said, "He shook my hand and said for my freedom anything that I have is yours." .

From that moment the two became fast friends

"I see he's a man, he's not just a soldier in Baghdad for duty," continued Al-Naimi.

Al-Naimi went as far as sending his employees in Baghdad with Yeatts's unit when they went to Fallujah, almost thirty miles away. Yeatts says he talked to his friend about the risk he was taking.

"You are in danger as long as you help Americans..he said I'm not leaving until I'm finished," he said.

Al-Naimi says the threat of danger didn't stop him from helping his friend.

"If you deal with Americans you will be killed or your daughter will be kidnapped or we will bomb your company. I don't care about that".

After helping Yeatts and putting his own life and his family's lives in harms way, Al-Naimi and Yeatts built a bond that will last a lifetime.

"I know I have to go back. I know I can make a difference. I know I can make a bigger difference with his help," said Yeatts.

Reported by Hena Daniels: HDaniels@wtoc.com

 

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