FORT MCCOY, Wis. (WFRV) – A Fort McCoy soldier is doing what he can to help an Afghan father and his deaf daughter learn how to communicate.

Sergeant Carlos Munoz, a Civil Affairs Marine assigned to 3d Civil Affairs Group, is helping 3-year-old Fatemeh and her father learn American Sign Language (ASL).

Fatemeh and her father are both Afghan evacuees staying at Fort McCoy while they wait to be resettled in a good home.

Fort McCoy officials noted that when Fatemah and her family first arrived at the military base, Fatemeh’s father had not mentioned that his daughter was deaf because he didn’t think there would any support services available to her.

“In the villages where we come from there are no schools for unique children, especially in religious areas or small villages,” said Fatemeh’s father. “I think you could only find schools for deaf people in the big cities, but I’m 29 and have never seen it.”

It was after a routine check that Fort McCoy officials first discovered that Fatemeh was deaf and that she and her family could not communicate with one another.

After hearing about this family’s situation, Sgt. Munoz volunteered to teach the toddler and her father ASL. And this was no easy task.

“The language barrier between English and Pashto, then to American Sign Language (ASL), is especially challenging,” said Sgt. Munoz.

However, this hurdle didn’t stop Sgt. Munoz from helping this family. With the help of a translator, they were able to continue teaching both Fatemeh and her father ASL.

“She was able to help convert English words to Pashto and we would all do the sign together, so we all had a mutual understanding of what the sign meant,” explained Sgt. Munoz.

“It’s good because she cannot speak, for example she can’t say ‘Mommy’ or ‘Daddy’, but now she’s learning to communicate,” said Fatemeh’s father.

While Sgt. Munoz is only teaching Fatemeh and her father ASL, he hopes her siblings will catch on too so that in time, everyone in Fatemeh’s family has the ability to communicate with her.

Overall the resettlement process has reportedly been very difficult for Fatemeh and her family but they are happy they have had this opportunity.

“The process of coming to America has been difficult, but overall it’s okay because it’s a good thing we get to come here,” said Fatemeh’s Father. ”Many of our friends and colleagues are still in Afghanistan and seeing what they’ve been going through we are very happy we got to come to America.”