Friday, December 19, 2014

USA Today Column: The Kurds Want YOU to Join Their Army

Jordan Matson of Wisconsin
Though the United States finds itself fighting against a new type of terrorist force in the Middle East — the "Islamic State" that weds an ancient religious vision to modern social media, a global agenda and a new level of ferocity — some Americans are responding in a very traditional way. They're leaving their country behind and picking up a gun to fight ISIL.
Jeremy Woodard of Miss.
They are not waiting for their government to send them but are joining the Kurdish troops standing against ISIL because the fight seems to be universal, the kind of fight in which Americans are destined to play a role.
Flying Tigers on the Tigris
Among them is Jeremy Woodard, a veteran who served in both Afghanistan and Iraq and who left his job as a security guard in Meridian, Miss., to join the Kurdish peshmerga in Syria. His reason? ISIL is killing innocent people. It must be stopped.
American Brian Wilson  of Ohio
There is also Ohio's Brian Wilson and Wisconsin Army veteran Jordan Matson. Matson left his bank job to serve with the peshmerga in Syria. He has already been wounded, says he has killed a member of ISIL and is using Facebook to recruit more like him.
More Americans are likely to go the way of Woodard, Wilson and Matson. Veterans are discussing the idea of joining the Kurds. A plan to build a brigade of anti-ISIL warriors with a crowdfunding idea is making its way around the Internet.
Canadians are following the same path.
As novel as such schemes might appear, this trend has deep roots in U.S. history. Individual Americans have long felt the freedom to battle for worthy causes in foreign lands, usually well before their government chose to engage.
a squadron of the French Air Service during World War 
composed largely of volunteer fighter pilots from America
Before the United States entered World War I in 1917, there were already American pilots serving in France in the Lafayette Escadrille, named for the French general who joined the American revolution. The success of these fliers against German pilots became the stuff of films as recently as the 2006 movie Flyboys.
Read the rest of the column HERE.

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