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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – He saved countless American lives translating for soldiers in Afghanistan, but a refugee’s first days on U.S. soil were anything but the American Dream.

Security officers tell us a witness spotted a man trying to hide a television behind a bush just a few feet from Mukhtar Ahmad’s apartment, but a television was only the beginning of what he and his family lost.

He hasn’t even been in the United States for a month, but Ahmad already took part in a very American tradition.

“This is the carton of the TV,” Ahmad said pointing to the empty box still in his living room, “I bought it on Black Friday for my children.”

Now that carton is all that’s left. Ahmad and his family left home Tuesday morning to get his daughters registered for school. When they came home they found someone broke into their apartment.

“When I come here, I quickly search my money, and everything was spread out,” Ahmad said.

It wasn’t just his television, computer, and his wife’s jewelry missing. Thieves took the few thousand dollars Ahmad brought with him from Afghanistan to get his family started.

“I sit down there. I got so upset about it, so I thought I lost our life,” he said.

Working as an interpreter for the U.S. military in Afghanistan, Ahmad says he spent more than two years applying for a special immigration visa to come to this country.

“It’s so hard to get here. Yeah, if you have a bunch of money, also you cannot get to the United States,” Ahmad said.

Now with his dream within reach, Ahmad says this is a painful reminder that he still has a long way to go.

“We sit at home, my children crying, and they said, let’s go back to Afghanistan. It’s impossible to live here,” he said.

Ahmad insists that he’s not going to let this stop his family from making a better life for themselves here.

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