A father and his two sons have decided that it’s not enough — as Marines– to sit here at home while so many in Iraq are still suffering at the hands of ISIS.
It is their duty, they say –as Americans and as soldiers– to protect our freedoms and even to protect those strangers that our country made a promise to when declaring war on terrorism.
The three family members – who are not using their last name for security reasons– are in Iraq now in a undisclosed location.
The men spoke with Fox News in their home state of New Jersey before travelling overseas. The 49-year old father, Harry, was a U.S. Marine, a civilian police officer and a staff sergeant with the U.S. Army National Guard. His 29- yr-old son Josh, a U.S. Marine machine gunner, who served two tours in Afghanistan. The youngest, 23-year-old James, also served two tours in Afghanistan as an infantryman.
‘We want to join with Peshmerga and we want to confront ISIS on our terms,’ Harry said his sons told him. “I’ve got over 20 years experience and I thought to myself, ‘I got two boys going, there is no way they are going without me.”
The three men want to help the Kurds in whatever way they can. James told Fox News’ Rick Leventhal: “ISIS has threatened our nation and us individually. They came out and said every military member needs to watch out because we are coming for you. We are Marines. We are going to bring the fight to them.”
The men plan to register in Kurdistan with the Regional Government and be deployed under the direction of KRG military leaders.
The State Department has said it’s aware that American citizens have joined groups to fight against ISIS. The department has warned that “travel to Iraq and Syria remains very dangerous.”
But the trio remains undaunted and says it’s not out for bloodlust.
“We are out there to protect and serve, and not just serving the United States, but people, humanity. We have the capabilities to protect others and that is what we are about,” said James.
“This is what I do,” Josh added. “We are the one percent who serve and that doesn’t go away….my intent is to make my brothers who wear the uniform proud of me again and continue to bring havoc to the enemy and protect my family…. The foundation of who we are as a people, as a family, as Americans is to protect the ones that can’t be protected.”
Their trip is being partially funded by a non-profit organization run by another former Marine, who has helped dozens of former service members carry out similar missions, according to Fox News.
That Marine, Lu Lobello says the family’s mission is “a way to break through this administration’s failed foreign policy and make a difference in the hearts and minds of the people we consider our best allies on the ground in that region: the Kurds.”