Captain Humayun Khan: Son, Friend, Muslim, Hero


Jacqueline O’Boomer


Our Muslim Soldier

When he was young in his country of birth
His loving mother would tell her friends
This day my son took his first steps
And the next day he would
Try again and take two more
And within a short amount of time
In a year that seems like forever ago
He was walking toward me
One step, five, ten steps.
Ten steps.

The father wanted to pursue
Some of his own dreams
For higher education and
To provide a happy life
For his family
And brought them to our country.

They learned our culture
They made the most of it
They pocketed our Constitution
They became like us
Our neighbors, co-workers, friends
Exactly as some of our ancestors
Who were immigrants
To the land of the free
The home of the brave
The place most of us
Take for granted.

In time, this son took more steps
As an American
Learned from his parents
How to care for others around him
In high school helped disabled children
Learn to swim
Learned from the Army recruiter
How he could further give back
Could become a soldier, himself
Law school could wait as he would
Offer a few years to the country
Where he had walked and grown.

The young soldier served his tour
And was set to serve another
And traveled to what is referred to as
“The cradle of civilization”
To fulfill his wartime duties
And his parents asked him
To stay home where he had once been
And always would be
Cradled in their loving embrace.

He said he had to go.
Our young Muslim soldier had to go.
He had to support his troops
He had to go.
One day a challenge occurred
And he looked it in the eye
To save the Muslims on one side of the wall
And to save his troops on the other
He held up his hand and
Marched into battle alone
He marched into battle
They say he took ten steps
Ten steps
And saved everyone
Hearing the story we
Can only ask ourselves
How many of us
Would have had
Such courage.

As we sit and learn of his life
Of his parents’ grief and our country’s loss
One thing we know for sure
He believed in a God who would welcome him
If he lived a good life
A good and civil life
And if his constitution stayed strong
One thing we can imagine at the end
As his parents grieved and
Temporarily gave him up
Our Muslim Soldier heard the
Invitation into heaven
And it was a voice calling out to him
Or it was a feeling he got
That it was time to take
Those last ten steps
And he would indeed
Be home again.
Mission done.
Boots on.



U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan
American Hero
Our Muslim Soldier

126 Responses to “Captain Humayun Khan: Son, Friend, Muslim, Hero”

  1. July 30, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    I was rocking to Stevie Wonder’s album “Fulfillingness’ First Finale” for the millionth time today and suddenly realized that it contains the perfect Trump protest song, “You Haven’t Done Nothin”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uQCJ6PzRdA. It was originally written about Nixon, but the lyrics are perfect for Trump in 2016. Besides, it also has the Jackson 5 singing background! 🙂

  2. 3 MightyPamela
    July 30, 2016 at 2:15 pm


  3. 4 Dudette
    July 30, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    Nerd, thank you for posting this gorgeous piece from literary genius, J’OB! It’s beautiful. Just beautiful. Agaiin, I hope it makes it’s way to Mr. and Mrs. Khan, who I’m sure would be as moved as we are by it.

  4. 5 Dudette
    July 30, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    Gotta roll. Will leave you with this. Enjoy the rest of your Saturday, Everybody!

    • 6 COS
      July 30, 2016 at 2:26 pm

      Dudette, I saw the comments of Crystal Ball, and I said to myself, what convention did she attend? Her comments did not jibe with what I saw at the DNC.

      • 7 MightyPamela
        July 30, 2016 at 2:32 pm

        Whoever she is (bar of soap to me), she saw what she was paid to see.

      • July 30, 2016 at 2:43 pm

        Didn’t she used to have her own show on MSNBC? If not that, she was a very frequent ‘guest’ on all the shows. Didn’t she run one time for an office in VA as a Dem? Fairly sure I’m right but no time to fact-check right now.

        • 9 COS
          July 30, 2016 at 3:10 pm

          Yes she was a part of the group on MSNBC where Terell(sp) was a host. I think Kornacki was also a part of the group. They cancelled their show.

        • 10 Betsy
          July 30, 2016 at 8:46 pm

          Yes she did and at one time was a major supporter of President Obama; after she joined the Cycle, it became common of her to critique the President. Viewership fell, and they lost their show. Wonder why?

  5. 11 MightyPamela
    July 30, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    Because Captain Khan believed We Are One people.

  6. July 30, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    Thank you for this beautiful poem.

    Thank you, Captain Khan and Khan family.

  7. 13 jacquelineoboomer
    July 30, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    NW – Thank you for helping us honor the Khans. His son sure brought honor to them! I’m going to send the poem to Lawrence O’D.

    • 14 desertflower
      July 30, 2016 at 3:11 pm

      Excellent poem to honor this man, J’OB. Send it to L’OD…ask him to pass it along.

      • 15 jacquelineoboomer
        July 30, 2016 at 3:21 pm

        I sent LO’D a tweet and did that. Might email him – only so it gets to the family. And thanks.

        • 16 desertflower
          July 30, 2016 at 3:47 pm

          I understand:) Great idea. They would love to know that you took the time to write such a perfect poem for their son…

  8. July 30, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    Thank you, Nerdy Wonka, for this incredibly moving post and for including JO’B’s stunning poem. I can’t help but tear up when I look at that young man’s face. This family has sacrificed so much.

  9. 19 Anna
    July 30, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    GM to all in the land of TOD. Nerdy Wonka many, many thanks to for the outstanding, on going work you do here, Chips, I hope you feel all the love and caring sent your way. To the Khans, thank you for coming forward to tells us about your sacrifice even though you are private people, and challenging those in government to do their job.

  10. July 30, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    Thank you NW for featuring TOD Poet Laureate JacquelineO’s magnificent tribute to Captain Khan!!!

    I so hope his family receives a copy of it, somehow!!!

  11. July 30, 2016 at 4:35 pm


  12. 24 Ladyhawke
    July 30, 2016 at 4:39 pm


    AM Joy 7/30/16


    On Friday, just over 100 days before the 2016 election, three courts in three states struck down three attempts at voter suppression — a triple victory for voting rights. Democratic Strategist, Jamal Simmons, the Nation Magazine’s Ari Berman and former federal prosecutor Subodh Chandra discuss.

    Duration: 8:19



  13. July 30, 2016 at 4:45 pm

  14. July 30, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    What was Trump response to Khizr Khaz? To imply that someone wrote what Khaz said, to say that the wife stood there with nothing to say, he don’t know if she was allow to say anything.

  15. 31 desertflower
    July 30, 2016 at 5:24 pm

    🙂 🙂

  16. 32 desertflower
    July 30, 2016 at 5:31 pm

  17. July 30, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    Weekly Zika update.

  18. 38 57andfemale
    July 30, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    So much work we have to do to extend PBO’s legacy and a sane, incremental march to a progressive country.

  19. 39 desertflower
    July 30, 2016 at 5:35 pm

  20. July 30, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    I love this editorial from the NY Times 7/28 — I missed it some how. It may have been posted here on TOD — I have tried to read everything but I get distracted and then can’t decide whether to try to find my place an dcatch up on past posts or jump to the new one and then work back. I tend to do both and have gaps! I hate to miss a single word on a single thread. Thank you NerdyWonka, Love you Miss Chips.
    This is a lovely and respectful and laudatory piece and my only sour note in reading it is where the HECK were these truths and declarations the last 8 years, folks of the NYTIMES Ed Board? Thank heavens our great good world-changing God-given POTUS has never been in it for the glory, laud, honor, or even basic honest assessment of who he is and what he does and why. But it is good to see the truth stated inequivocally from such lofty sources as this, whenever they do it.

    • 43 carolyn
      July 30, 2016 at 6:08 pm

      sad tears…….I’m over my limit for the month with the NYT. Could you give at least a one paragraph summary for all of us so afflicted? Would deeply appreciate it.

      • July 30, 2016 at 6:22 pm

        “……the Obama presidency has been transformative — perhaps even miraculous. But the very idea of a black man in the White House was too much to bear for white supremacists, birthers and the antigovernment militia groups that have only grown more savage over time. The Republican nominee, Donald Trump, traded openly on these impulses, amping up the racism, xenophobia and religious bigotry that have poisoned public discourse in this nation.

        Wednesday night’s beautiful and emotional speech came 12 years after Mr. Obama, then a Senate candidate from Illinois, delivered the keynote address at the Democratic convention in Boston that brought him into the national spotlight. As he did then, Mr. Obama laid out his personal history, the son of a black Kenyan and a white American, and sounded the theme that has been common to his orations ever since: that the progress of American history is toward the creation of one people — “out of many, one…….”

        Of course, Carolyn! This is the middle chunk.

      • July 30, 2016 at 6:39 pm

        President Obama and the Long March
        Continue reading the main storyShare This Page


        Credit Illustration by Joan Wong; Photo by Zach Gibson/The New York Times
        President Obama’s speech before the Democratic convention in Philadelphia Wednesday night was, of course, an occasion to celebrate the candidacy of Hillary Clinton, his former secretary of state and the first woman to receive the presidential nomination of a major political party.

        His presence on the podium was also a valedictory for an exceptional man and president who will be remembered for eloquently defending the founding precepts of the country — even as he used those precepts to expand the mandate of inclusiveness and broaden the definition of what it means to be an American.

        From that standpoint, the Obama presidency has been transformative — perhaps even miraculous. But the very idea of a black man in the White House was too much to bear for white supremacists, birthers and the antigovernment militia groups that have only grown more savage over time. The Republican nominee, Donald Trump, traded openly on these impulses, amping up the racism, xenophobia and religious bigotry that have poisoned public discourse in this nation.

        Wednesday night’s beautiful and emotional speech came 12 years after Mr. Obama, then a Senate candidate from Illinois, delivered the keynote address at the Democratic convention in Boston that brought him into the national spotlight. As he did then, Mr. Obama laid out his personal history, the son of a black Kenyan and a white American, and sounded the theme that has been common to his orations ever since: that the progress of American history is toward the creation of one people — “out of many, one.”

        Steadfast optimism about the country’s ability to move past racial division even in times of tragedy and desperation is a constant theme in Mr. Obama’s philosophy. And this year — with rising fears about terrorism and the killings by and of police officers — has been such a time.

        Hillary Clinton’s Convention: Day 3
        Notes and provocations from Philadelphia.

        He turned again on Wednesday to that long view, one that has always animated the American spirit. “The America I know is full of courage, and optimism, and ingenuity. The America I know is decent and generous,” he said. “We get frustrated with political gridlock and worry about racial divisions; we are shocked and saddened by the madness of Orlando or Nice. There are pockets of America that never recovered from factory closures; men who took pride in hard work and providing for their families who now feel forgotten. Parents who wonder whether their kids will have the same opportunities that we have.

        “All of that is real; we are challenged to do better; to be better. But as I’ve traveled this country, through all 50 states; as I’ve rejoiced with you and mourned with you, what I have also seen, more than anything, is what is right with America.”

        He said those words, knowing that throughout history it has always been easier to drive Americans apart, to stoop to the language of hate and peddle scapegoats for every ill.

        At the very start of his journey to the White House, he delivered a speech on race in 2008. He placed his story in the context of a great nation born with a great moral failing, one that seemed impossible to correct: “Words on a parchment would not be enough to deliver slaves from bondage, or provide men and women of every color and creed their full rights and obligations as citizens of the United States. What would be needed were Americans in successive generations who were willing to do their part — through protests and struggle, on the streets and in the courts, through a civil war and civil disobedience and always at great risk — to narrow that gap between the promise of our ideals and the reality of their time.”

        Mr. Obama said then that he ran for office to “continue the long march of those who came before us” and to convince the country that we could “perfect our union by understanding that we may have different stories, but we hold common hopes.”

        In his eight years in the White House — an entire lifetime for youngsters who have only known a president who is black — Mr. Obama wasn’t able to heal the racial and political divisions despite his efforts and his leadership. He has expressed his regret and disappointment about that failure. But a fundamental truth of history is that change comes slowly and is often recognizable only in retrospect.

        Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook and Twitter (@NYTOpinion), and sign up for the Opinion Today newsletter.

        A version of this editorial appears in print on July 28, 2016, on page A26 of the New York edition with the headline: President Obama and the Long March. Today’s Paper|Subscribe

          July 30, 2016 at 6:52 pm


          • 48 SUEDUVALLSMITH
            July 30, 2016 at 6:58 pm


        • July 30, 2016 at 7:04 pm

          I am so sorry, I posted this in the side comments section, thinking it would only go to Carolyn, who wanted to see the whole thing. I did not realize it would show up here, and now I don’t know how to delete it, if I can. I know posting long articles here is not acceptable, and I regret messing this up.

          • 50 jackiegrumbacher
            July 30, 2016 at 9:12 pm

            Nancie, I,too, couldn’t access New York Times, so I really appreciate your excerpts. Thanks.

        • 51 carolyn
          July 30, 2016 at 7:19 pm

          Thank you Nancie. It does amaze that so many people are just now beginning to realize what we here have known since 2007! or earlier

      • July 30, 2016 at 8:35 pm

        Check your email…

      • 54 cd4biden
        July 30, 2016 at 10:57 pm

        Hi Nancie. To Carolyn and others, I find I can sometimes read additional articles if I do it on a different device like my phone or ipad. Give it a try. Thanks for this article Nancie.

  21. 55 desertflower
    July 30, 2016 at 5:53 pm

    Sorry…hideous taste, too

  22. July 30, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    This is a most wonderful feature on a brilliant Twitter hashtag which went viral: #FakeTrumpIntelligenceBriefing. Created by journalist and humorist Nina L. Diamond, who is on Twitter @ninatypewriter. I love that our people have a sense of humor, even in the face of all the dreadfulness and badness and heartbreak and mess. The side of wrong has screaming hatemongering talk radio and meanie-media, and our people are just not good at that, bless our hearts. But liberal people have been known to bring the funny (BlackTwitter I’m looking at you…..Awesomely Luvvie…..PourMeCoffee. It is a blessing for which I can take no credit but which I can note with pride and Joy. And well — TOD is full of funny witty smart cookies. What would I DO without this TOD family? Here you go: and there’s more on twitter at #FakeTrumpIntelligenceBriefing


  23. July 30, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    • 65 COS
      July 30, 2016 at 6:24 pm

      Bobfr, this depravity comes from that “black Hole” in Trump, as stated the author who followed Trump around for 1 year writing that book. He has no feelings for others; he is all about himself.

  24. July 30, 2016 at 6:24 pm

    #NEWSTAINERS like #MorningJoke now crowing that the GOP should ‘cut Trump loose,’ etc., are ALL to blame for the fact that instead of being interned in a psychiatric facility for the dangerously malignant narcissist that he is, he’s the Republican Candidate for the Presidency ….

    VOTE and haul others to the voting booth all day long on 8 Nov 2016 ….. bbl ……

  25. July 30, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    FLOTUS and the girls have spent the week in their Chicago home. They arrived in Chicago Tuesday night.

    July 30, 2016 at 6:46 pm


  27. July 30, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    • 71 99ts
      July 30, 2016 at 6:58 pm

      When he opens his mouth – he lies – yet the media still refuse to call him on it. Scared they will not be allowed to huddle together in a cage & listen to his abusive rhetoric

        July 30, 2016 at 7:05 pm


    • 73 desertflower
      July 30, 2016 at 7:06 pm

      such a pathological liar….even about things that mean jack

    • 75 MadameSoph
      July 30, 2016 at 9:39 pm

      Believe it or not, a black woman I know gave me a version of the white dude comment from this Tweet. Her kids are half Jewish too! The conversation was so upsetting that I vowed to never discuss the election with her again. Just gonna pray for her.

  28. 76 JER
    July 30, 2016 at 7:01 pm

  29. 77 JER
    July 30, 2016 at 7:04 pm

  30. 78 desertflower
    July 30, 2016 at 7:09 pm

    Mark Cuban speaking… Bashing DT:)

  31. 85 JER
    July 30, 2016 at 7:10 pm

  32. July 30, 2016 at 7:12 pm

  33. 87 JER
    July 30, 2016 at 7:15 pm

    http://www3.pictures.zimbio.com/gi/Barack+Obama+President+Obama+Departs+Camp+WheelTgkXh2x.jpg President Barack Obama boards Marine One before departing for Camp David on July 30, 2016 at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland. The president will remain at the Maryland retreat overnight and return Sunday, July 31.

  34. 91 jacquelineoboomer
    July 30, 2016 at 7:29 pm

  35. 92 JER
    July 30, 2016 at 7:33 pm

  36. July 30, 2016 at 7:44 pm


  37. July 30, 2016 at 7:51 pm

  38. July 30, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    Haven’t the Republicans been quiet about Trump comment for Russia to hack into the State Dept. looking for e-mails? I have not heard from one Republican condemning what Trump.said.

  39. July 30, 2016 at 8:20 pm

  40. July 30, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    The video you didn’t see at the convention on Hillary’s mother, Dorothy, an abandoned little girl who grew up to raise the little girl who become a powerful voice for women and children, and the first woman President of America. It’s called “Shoulders”.

  41. 111 GGAIL
    July 30, 2016 at 9:01 pm

    What a beautiful tribute to our fallen soilder and his family. Thank you J’OB 🌹

  42. July 30, 2016 at 9:07 pm

  43. 113 MadameSoph
    July 30, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    Just got home from a long day and saw this beautiful tribute by our Jacqueline O’Boomer.

    Beautiful! Thank you for sharing your poetry with us and for penning such an eloquent eulogy of this American soldier.

  44. 114 Nena20409
    July 30, 2016 at 9:37 pm

  45. July 30, 2016 at 9:53 pm

    Who ya gonna call?

  46. 117 Nena20409
    July 30, 2016 at 10:00 pm

    • 118 Nena20409
      July 30, 2016 at 10:06 pm

  47. 119 Nena20409
    July 30, 2016 at 10:01 pm

  48. July 30, 2016 at 10:04 pm

  49. 122 Nena20409
    July 30, 2016 at 10:11 pm

    • 123 jacquelineoboomer
      July 30, 2016 at 11:14 pm

      Not sure why I remembered, but I just confirmed that Sept. 17 is Constitution Day … somebody might want to alert Hillary’s campaign that offering pocket Constitutions for donations might be a good way to honor both our country and (since the DNC) the Kahn family’s sacrifice. I don’t think it would be cashing in on a tragedy, more investing in educating voters that Trump’s idea of what our country stands for is DEAD WRONG.


  50. July 30, 2016 at 10:23 pm

  51. July 30, 2016 at 10:53 pm

    Jackie, I cried. Beautiful commemoration of a beautiful soul and the family who made the hardest sacrifice.

    • 126 jacquelineoboomer
      July 30, 2016 at 11:04 pm

      Oh, thank you, Kat. I read it to my 15-year-old grandson today, and I cried when I was reading it! I’ll never forget that family. ❤

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