• REUTERS

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It was a split second decision. Mirza Ali Ahmadi and his wife, Suraya, found themselves and their five children on Aug. 19 in a chaotic crowd outside the gates of the Kabul Airport in Afghanistan when a U.S. soldier, from over the tall fence, asked if they needed help.

Fearing their 2-month old baby, Sohail, would get crushed in the melee, they handed him to the soldier, thinking they would soon get to the entrance, which was only about 16 feet (5 meters) away.

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