HOSCHTON, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia high school senior invited the soldier who helped her family escape from Iraq during the first Gulf War to her graduation.
Multiple news outlets report 18-year-old Lava Barwari invited retired U.S. Army soldier Greg Pepin to her graduation ceremony at Mill Creek High School in Hoschton last Thursday night.
Barwari's mother, Awaz Barwari worked for an American organization in 1996 when the Iraqi government placed her name on a kill list. The family is Kurdish, an ethnic group targeted by the former Iraqi government for genocide. Lava Barwari was just 36 days old when Pepin helped the family flee, at one point lending her his name and letting her travel under his passport.
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Pepin says watching her graduate made him proud to be an American.