'This is more than my dream' | After helping US military, Afghan man lives American dream in STL
Ahmadi said he chose to help the Americans because he believed in their values. Now, he's starting his own company and watching his family grow - https://www.ksdk.com/
Author: Anne Allred
Published: 5:57 AM CDT March 31, 2020
ST. LOUIS — Haseeb Ahmadi spent years hiding himself and his family from the Taliban.
The group had a hit out on him.
Being an Afghan man who helped Americans during the war. 5 On Your Side was there three years ago as he safely landed at St. Louis Lambert International Airport and stepped on American soil for the first time.
Now, three years later, 5 On Your Side is taking a second look at Ahmadi's life since he arrived in the U.S.
It's a story about friendship that started in a war zone in Afghanistan. St. Louis native Hugh Tychsen was a Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant.
Ahmadi was his Afghan interpreter. It's a friendship that's broken all language barriers.
"We call each other brothers and we really do feel that way about each other," said Tychsen.
"He put his life on the line for U.S. forces for nine
to 10 years, he worked with 101st Airborne, 82nd Airborne," said Tychsen.
Ahmadi said he chose to help the Americans because he believed in their values.
"I knew these people came here and they are the only one trying to help and build Afghanistan again," said Ahmadi.
The Marines left Afghanistan in 2014. For the next three years, Ahmadi and his family were in hiding. The Taliban wanted to kill him. At the same time, Tychsen was working behind the scenes to get Ahmadi a U.S. visa. Then, it finally happened.
Ahmadi has been in St. Louis for three years. He immediately started working two jobs and volunteered to work with construction crews just to learn the business.
"If somebody wants to work and calls you and says they'll do it for free, then he really wanted to work. He was a hustler," said Damir Subasic, t
he owner of a local construction company.
Now, Ahmadi has started his own construction company. A small business that is all his own.
"When you make something in construction, it makes you proud when you see what you have done," said Ahmadi.
But nothing has brought him more joy than the birth of his second daughter on American soil.
"First American citizen, that's very proud for us, we are very proud of that," said Ahmadi.
A proud moment for a man who helped American forces. A man who never dreamed he would be paid back with his freedom and living his best life in America.
"Absolutely, I'm living in the dream. This is more than my dream," said Ahmadi.
Tychsen has helped Ahmadi with everything from car insurance to American customs. He's even helping him get his construction business website up and running.
To learn more about Ahmadi's business or to get a quote for your construction project, check out www.mqa-renovations.com.