Global Citizen is a community of people like you

People who want to learn about and take action on the world’s biggest challenges. Extreme poverty ends with you.

Citizenship

Man Runs Through Gunfire to Save Little Girl in Iraq

A little girl was rescued earlier this month from gunfire in Mosul, Iraq, after David Eubank, an American aid worker, risked running through bullets to save her. 

The girl was one of 70 Iraqi civilians pinned against a wall who were being fired at by ISIS snipers as they tried to flee from their homes, the LA Times reports

Eubank spotted the girl hidden beneath the burqa of a woman whom he presumed to be her mother, he told CBS Evening News

“She was screaming, unwilling to let her mother go. No one knows her name, she still hasn't said a word,” he told CNN

Eubank was able to ask the US and Iraqi army forces to deploy smoke canisters to build a wall of smoke between him and ISIS snipers, he told CBS. The smoke wall protected him as he darted 150 yards to rescue the unidentified girl. 

Take Action:  Ask World Leaders to Pledge to the Education Cannot Wait Fund for Kids in Crisis​​​​​

And after saving the girl on June 3, Eubank told CBS that he learned that an Iraqi general plans to adopt the girl. 

Rescues like this are not uncommon for Eubank. In fact, he spends most of his time trying to rescue civilians in conflict zones. 

Eubank, 56, served in the US military under the US Special Forces for over a decade before starting the Free Burma Rangers, a humanitarian group that trains teams to rescue and coordinate support for civilians in conflict zones in Burma, Iraq, and Sudan. 

Fuller’s parents, Christian missionaries from Texas, had asked him to help the Burmese people they worked with. Eubank, part of the nondenominational Fuller Theological Seminary, felt he wanted to go where God needed him, he told the LA Times. The group then began to help in other crisis situations, increasingly the ones revolving around ISIS.

In Mosul the Free Burma Rangers works with the US Army and Iraq Army to help civilians flee ISIS-held areas in Iraq, according to their website

“This is one of the starkest and most desperate situations in the world. And with ISIS, it doesn’t feel melodramatic to say it’s evil,” Hosanna Valentine, 37, a volunteer with the Free Burma Rangers said.  

Eubank’s three teenage children, and Karen, his wife, also accompany him on FBR trips to war zones. 

“It's not like we thought 25 years ago, ‘Let's take our kids to a war zone with ISIS.’ But in Burma the people we worked with poured love into us, and this is more than what I can give my kids on my own,” Karen Eubank told the LA Times.

The family says that a love for others is what motivates them to do such dangerous work. 

"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," Eubank’s daughter, Sahale, told CBS Evening News.