Chase Millsap is a U.S. Marine turned Army Green Beret. He has served through three battle-filled tours in Iraq and climbed his way through the ranks of the United Sates special forces to reach the rank of Captain. Millsap has a long and illustrious military career to look back on. Millsap’s career was almost cut short during his first tour when an enemy sniper narrowly missed his head. He was saved by a man he refers to only as “The Captain” during interviews to protect his identity. Millsap is now out of the military and has dedicated his life to finding asylum for the man that saved him. He is working tirelessly to bring The Captain to the United States but is constantly held up by bureaucratic red-tape.
Millsap and The Captain first met during Millsaps first tour in Iraq. Millsap arrived in Iraq as a second lieutenant in 2006 to lead a contingent of U.S. Marines and Iraqi soldiers. The Captain was among the Iraqi soldiers Millsap would lead. Millsap and The Captain didn’t hit it off at first but they quickly grew close after The Captain saved Millsap from enemy sniper fire.
The two were walking a routine patrol with several other marines and Iraqi soldiers. The sniper fired a round at Millsap’s head, narrowly missing. The Captain instantly pushed Millsap out of the way and ran directly towards the shooter which caused the sniper to flee. Millsap said to the Associated Press:
“He quickly pushed me down and ran towards the gunfire and because of that, saved my life,”
The two would cross paths several times throughout Millsap’s three tours in Iraq and developed a strong bond. The two worked together during Millsap’s first tour, briefly met during Millsap’s second tour and would eventually keep in touch with weekly Skype phone calls.
To Millsap’s surprise the phone calls abruptly stopped one day. He would later learn that The Captain was nearly killed by a car bomb placed in his Jeep. ISIS began targeting The Captain directly. He would receive calls at his home from ISIS fighters threatening his life and the lives of his children. The Captain decided to flee to Turkey to evade the threats from the terrorist organization.
The Captain now lives a life of fear. He performs daily physical therapy exercises to restore movement to his right arm that was damaged by the car bomb. He spends the rest of his time teaching his children english and attempting to complete refugee applications so that he can seek asylum in the United States.
The Captains efforts have been in vain thus far. His application has been denied several times, even with help from Millsap. Unfortunately for The Captain giving up is not an option. He needs to flee the area for fear of his life. The Captain said to the Associated Press:
“If I go back, I’m sure I die,”
Seeing that their individual efforts were getting them nowhere Millsap created an organization to help people in The Captain’s situation. The organization is called the Ronin Refugee Project. The mission of the Ronin Refugee Project is to assists foreign allies of the United States and to reward them for their honor and commitment to helping the United States overseas.
The Ronin Refugee Project continues to work with The Captain from his apartment in Turkey where he resides with his wife and two children. Weekly Skype calls take place to help The Captain with paperwork and anything else he needs to be considered for a refugee application. The Captain is extremely greatful for the help Millsap and his organization have provided. He remains hopeful that his application will be accepted with their help. He said to the Associated Press:
“I feel like you are my family. You are my brother. You and the other group of Marines are really gentlemen,”
National Geographic takes an inside look at the struggles and obstacles The Captain faces everyday. They were onsite to record a reunion between the captain and Millsap and documented their attempts to bring The Captain to the United States. Video footage of their struggle can be seen below.
Do you think people like The Captain should be fast-tracked for refugee status? Why or why not? Sound off in the comment section below!