Do you know who was Capt Humayun Khan?
But, how well do we know the army officer whose sacrifice has now become a part of the 2016 US election with his parents engaged in a public battle with Trump?
Born in 1976 to a Pakistani family, Capt Humayun Khan was a US soldier who died fending off a suicide bomber in Iraq during 2004.
Khan’s family migrated to the US when he was only two and happily settled in Silver Spring, Maryland.
In the United States, Khan grew up along with two of his brothers. His father, Khizr Khan, remembered him as a child, who was in love with his now homeland.
Khan volunteered to give swimming classes to disabled children when he himself was studying in secondary school.
He later joined the University of Virginia and signed up for the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps since he always wanted to serve the US military.
Khan’s family was unenthusiastic about his decision but they were later moved by his passion.
“He wanted to give back. That’s what he wanted to do,” his father recalled.
Khan served in the US Army for four years and rose to the rank of captain following his graduating from the university in 2000.
A soldier on duty
- Capt Humayun Khan was born in 1976 to a Pakistani family
- Khan’s family migrated to the US when he was only two
- He volunteered to give swimming classes to disabled children
- At University of Virginia, Khan signed up for the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps
- He served in the US Army for four years and rose to the rank of captain
- Khan graduated from the University of Virginia in 2000
- He went to Iraq in 2004 to support the post-war situation there.
- Capt Khan died on June 8, 2004, at the age of 27 in a car suicide attack
In 2001, he decided to leave the army for a law school but the 9/11 attacks stopped him from doing so.
Khan was sent to Iraq in 2004 to support the post-war situation there.
Like a usual too-caring-mother, Ghazala Khan always told him to return home safely not to act like a hero.
“Of course, I will,” he told his parents. “But Mother, you should know I have responsibility for these soldiers, and I cannot leave them unprotected.”
Khan died at the age of only 27 while serving at a Baqubah base where he was supposed to inspect soldiers in the morning near the compound’s entrance gate.
On the early hours of June 8, 2004, an inspection turned wrong when a car sped towards Khan’s group of troops. He told his colleagues to move back and lie on the ground.
Khan kept on moving towards the approaching car with outstretched arms in a halting gesture when the driver detonated a suicide bomb before reaching him.
The explosion killed Khan.
He awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star – two highly revered US military honours.
Khan rests today in Arlington Cemetery, near Washington. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton also attended his funeral.