A former Marine has begun an online petition drive to urge Congress to give United States citizenship to the Iraqi lawyer who helped U.S. forces rescue ex-POW Pfc. Jessica Lynch from captivity last week, reports the Parkersburg, W.Va., News and Sentinel.

Richard DeMarco of North Royalton, Ohio, says something more should be done for the man known only as “Mohammad” who risked his life to pass information about Lynch’s condition and whereabouts to U.S. Marines.

“He literally gave us back one of our daughters,” DeMarco told the paper.

Jessica Lynch rescued after help from Iraqi man

As WorldNetDaily reported, Mohammad decided to help get Lynch to safety after witnessing an Iraqi colonel strike her in her hospital bed in Nasiryah. She was suffering from two broken legs and a broken arm after her convoy was attacked and she was taken into custody.

Mohammad walked 10 kilometers to a Marines checkpoint to let the Americans know where Lynch was and to offer his help. He subsequently collected information about the hospital and the security around the POW to enable the woman’s rescue.

“Being a former Marine … and being in combat myself, I can fully appreciate the risks he took in approaching Marine lines, especially with the tactics the Iraqis had been using,” DeMarco said.

The Iraqi family that provided information for POW rescue.

Mohammad, his wife and daughter are now in a secure location and have been granted refugee status.

For DeMarco, though, that’s not enough for a family that risked their lives to save an American soldier.

“He deserves something above and beyond,” he told the News and Sentinel.

According to the report, the petition has registered more than 120 signatures, many of them from veterans.

DeMarco said granting Mohammad and his family citizenship would show the U.S. can reward its allies, not just punish its enemies.

“I think that would send a good message to the Middle East,” he said.

Lynch is now in Landstuhl, Germany, at a military facility where she is recovering from several surgeries. Her family is there with her and reports that the 19-year-old is “real cheerful.”

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