On June 16, Iraqi troops and their U.S. counterparts came under fire in Mosul by ISIS snipers who were targeting civilians. The snipers had already shot and killed more than 70 men, women and children, many of them laying in piles against a bullet-riddled wall.
David Eubank, who served for 10 years in the Special Forces and now works as an aid worker, viewed the carnage from behind a tank about 150 yards away. Suddenly, he noticed a slight movement. It was a young girl, hiding under her dead mother’s hijab, and he knew what he had to do.
“I thought, ‘If I die doing this, my wife and kids would understand,’” he said.
In a coordinated effort, U.S. and Iraqi forces began dropping smoke canisters, creating “the most perfect wall of smoke I’d ever seen.”
With two Iraqi soldiers covering him, Eubank – wearing nothing but a helmet and bullet-proof vest – ran out from behind the tank and scooped up the girl, then dashed her back to safety.
The dramatic rescue, captured in the video below, took 12 gut-wrenching seconds from beginning to end. During the same rescue operation, Eubank also managed to bring a toddler and wounded man to safety.
The girl’s entire family has probably all been killed, but an Iraqi general who was with Eubank that day plans to adopt her.
Eubank, the 56-year-old son of Christian missionaries from Texas, seems destined to this line of work. He joined the Army at age 18 and served in the Special Forces for nearly a decade.
When a bible group from Burma asked for assistance from his family, he moved there and eventually founded the Free Burma Rangers. The humanitarian organization provides medicine, supplies and other support in crisis areas of Burma, Iraq and Sudan.
Perhaps the most stunning aspect of his work providing aid and care in those areas is that it’s a family affair; his wife, Karen, made the trips with him to Burma before the couple decided to move there permanently.
And on the day he rescued the three survivors in Mosul, she and their three children – Sahale, 16, Suuzane, 14 and Peter, 11 – were holed up above a medical clinic just a mile away.
“There’s kids on the front line with their parents who are getting shot at, so why shouldn’t we be out there helping them as well?” said daughter Sahale. “If your kid was out there, wouldn’t you want someone else to help them, someone to rescue them, to give them the opportunity to live?”
Watch the dramatic rescue below, and share to spread this amazing family’s dedication to the cause.