Steelers' Villanueva's reunion with interpreter to be featured on ESPN

Sign up for one of our email newsletters. Alejandro Villanueva's bond he forged with an Afghan interpreter will get some national attention Saturday night. The Steelers starting left tackle and former Army Ranger reunited with Mohammad Arif Azimi last...

Steelers' Villanueva's reunion with interpreter to be featured on ESPN

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Alejandro Villanueva's bond he forged with an Afghan interpreter will get some national attention Saturday night.

The Steelers starting left tackle and former Army Ranger reunited with Mohammad Arif Azimi last week in Houston during Super Bowl festivities, and ESPN reporter Ashley Fox chronicled the visit, which will be shown on SC Featured during the 11 p.m. edition of SportsCenter on Saturday night.

The story also will be rebroadcast Sunday during SportsCenter.

During his three tours of Afghanistan, Villanueva formed a friendship with Azimi, his interpreter.

According to an ESPN press release, Villanueva helped Azimi, whose life was in danger for assisting U.S. soldiers, immigrate to the U.S. 16 months ago on a special immigrant visa.

Until last week's visit in Houston, Villanueva had not seen Azimi since 2012.

“He was going to see him for the first time since they served together in Afghanistan, and he asked me if I wanted to go,” Fox said in the release. “It was a total no-brainer to say yes.”

Joe Rutter is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at jrutter@tribweb.com or via Twitter @tribjoerutter.

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