“Amazing leader.” “The best.” “My friend.”
Those were some of the words Sgt. Lacy Walker used to describe Cpt. Humayun Khan, the slain Muslim American solider whose parents became embroiled in a controversial feud with Donald Trump following Khizr Khan’s emotional speech at the Democratic National Convention.
In an interview Wednesday on “New Day” on CNN, Walker shared her memories of Khan, whom she served under in Iraq, including a moving story about her decision to get a tattoo on her arm reading “Unforgotten,” in honor of the fallen Captain.
Turning her arm to the camera to display the tattoo toward the end of the interview, Walker explained, “When we were getting ready to go to Iraq, he got the order saying that he was going to force protection, and I was still working in shop office. And I said, ‘Sir, you can’t leave me. I can’t do Iraq without you. And he said, ‘I’m not going to leave you, you’re fine. We’re going to be there together.'”
Walker continued, “After he passed away — after he tragically died — I had a dream that he came to me and I said, ‘Sir, you said you wouldn’t leave me. You said I wouldn’t have to do Iraq without you. He said, ‘I’m not gone. Just don’t forget me. I’ll always be here with you guys, just don’t forget me.’ So I had the tattoo, ‘Unforgotten.'”
Khan’s parents’ repudiation of Trump has become a flashpoint in the 2016 election — prompting widespread condemnation for the GOP nominee’s criticism of the family and a debate about the nature of sacrifice — but less has been said about Cpt, Khan himself and the impact he had on his fellow soldiers in Iraq.
Speaking about Khan, Walker was emotional in her praise.
“It was pretty much impossible not to be close to Captain Khan. He was always there for everyone. So if you knew him, you were friends,” she said. “He was the best.”
Walker called Khan “an amazing leader” and “an amazing man,” saying that “he was always there for everyone.”
“If you worked for Capitain Khan, then you knew you were taken care of. You knew that everything was going to be ok. You knew you were safe,” she said. “I know as the human being he was, as the soldier he was, every day he would always look out for us. He would always make sure we were safe.”
Walker described learning of Khan’s death, saying she “got up there and wanted to know how I could help, along with a group of soldiers that were with me. And I found out that it was one of the most respected people I’ve ever met in my life.”
Walker was also interviewed on CNN by Brooke Baldwin on Tuesday, and said that Khan’s identity should be defined by his patriotism rather than his religion.
“He didn’t wear his heritage on his shoulder. He wore the American flag like all of us did. He was a soldier. He was a man. He died honorably. He didn’t die because he’s a Muslim. He didn’t even — he didn’t shout out that he was a Muslim. He was just proud to serve his country and proud to serve with his troops. And I don’t like the fact that at he’s being honored because of his heritage. He should be honored as the man he was, the soldier he was, and this is like — they say rest in peace for a reason. This has been 12 years. It’s ridiculous to me.”