Monday, July 27, 2015

WAR ON ISIS - Americans Volunteering Against ISIS

"Why some Americans are volunteering to fight the Islamic State" PBS NewsHour 7/21/2015


SUMMARY:  The State Department estimates that more than 150 Americans, including some U.S. military veterans, have packed their bags and flown to Iraq and Syria to volunteer with forces fighting against the Islamic State militant group.  Special correspondent Marcia Biggs reports on what’s driving these soldiers.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  Tonight, an exclusive story from Iraq on American citizens, civilians, fighting the Islamic State group.  Many are former U.S. military, but some have never seen a battle before.

Special correspondent Marcia Biggs reports.

MARCIA BIGGS (NewsHour):  American boots are back on the ground in Iraq.  This time, they’re volunteers, U.S. military veterans on the front lines against the Islamic State, and among them, one woman; 25-year-old Samantha Johnston was a private in the Army for two years before, she left to be a stay-at-home mom to her three children.

When the Islamic State dominating the news last year, she says she sat in her North Carolina home, watching videos of their atrocities and felt compelled to join the fight.

SAMANTHA JOHNSTON, American volunteer:  Something inside of me just snapped, and I couldn’t allow myself to sit down and do nothing, when all of these children here are in trouble, and I, and me and my family are just living happily in America.

MARCIA BIGGS:  She made contact with other volunteers through social media sites.  And three months ago, she packed her bags and flew to Iraq, where she volunteered with the Kurdish army, the Peshmerga, in the fight against I.S.  She says she’s become close to the Kurdish soldiers in her unit, even listing herself on Facebook by a Kurdish name.

SAMANTHA JOHNSTON:  They became my family.  And I plan to stay here for as long as I can, as long as they need me to be here.

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