OROVILLE, Wash. (CBS) Mosul is one of the most dangerous places in the world. And while hundreds of thousands fled, an American and his family moved in, risking their lives to save others.
As an aid worker in Mosul, David Eubank sees death every single day.
“We see families killed,” says Eubank, a former Green Beret. “One woman, probably a 19-year-old, new mother, little newborn, died in my arms.”
But one recent rescue was different.
“I see what turns out to be about 70 dead bodies — woman, children, guys in wheelchairs — and then a little girl, sitting next to her dead mother. Hiding under the black hijab,” Eubank says.
ISIS snipers filled the air with gunfire. But Eubank had to get to the little girl.
Iraqi and U.S. forces helped on the ground and in the air, putting up a blanket of protective smoke so he could run. Twelve seconds, in and out, she was safe. It was caught on video.
“It makes me want to cry every time I see the picture because I think she made it, she made it,” Eubank said.
Eubank said the little girl’s family is presumed dead. He learned that the Iraqi general he was with has plans to adopt her.
Eubank started the humanitarian group Free Burma Rangers after a decade with the U.S. Special Forces. His wife and three children have joined him on all his missions to Myanmar, also known as Burma, and other war-torn areas like Mosul.
While there are some people who might be surprised to see the children out there, the kids disagree.
“There’s kids on the front line with their parents who are getting shot at, so why shouldn’t we be out there helping them as well?” says daughter Sahale.
The family of five is taking a break this week, in Washington state, but all plan to go back to Iraq.
“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,” Sahale says.
Eubank says he keeps returning out of love.
“And I remembered this scripture, ‘Greater love has no man who laid down his life for his friends,'” Eubank says.