The US Marine veteran -who took it upon himself to defend Christians in Syria during the chaotic conflict in the region- has taken his own life on US soil.
A veteran of the USMC 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance, the French Foreign Legion, Kurdish YPG, Syriac Military Council and commander of a Syrian Rebel unit, Howard was a well-seasoned combat veteran who never shied away from a fight.
Growing up in foster homes, Howard seemingly found his home in the camaraderie that can only be found in battle.
Unfortunately for Howard, he also seemed to ruffle some feathers- in 2017, he was allegedly held against his will in Syria following a “disciplinary matter.”
Charismatic and well-liked by his comrades, Howard -who went by the alias “Kane Harlly” and “Hawro Christian”- sent shockwaves across the net on April 30, when he sent the world a goodbye message from a remote area outside of Tucson, taking his life before anyone could get to him.
Not that they didn’t try.
Acting quickly, Howard’s friend, Humberto Farmer, pinpointed the location where the photos were taken and asked if anyone could reach Howard in time.
“I was a Legionnaire, I was a Marine.” he scrawled on a wall in one photo attached to his “goodbye” post. “I was a rebel commander in Syria. I gave it up for a woman, and she didn’t love me. It seemed like a good idea at the time.”
Posts from Howard’s social media page alluded to troubles with his fiancee, and accounts from his friends implied that she was “not good for him.” To make matters worse, Howard -whose body was ravaged by the rigor and toil of what seemed to be a lifetime of war- wanted to return to combat, despite the physical pain it caused him.
Farmer noted that Howard’s mother, who grew close to him in the later years of his life, said her son wished to be cremated and eventually scattered over the Golden Gate Bridge, an American symbol he identified with as a “hometown” of sorts. The exact date of the ceremony is unknown at this time.
Zach Mielens, a Marine veteran who served with Howard, wrote, “[He] was someone where anyone who ever knew of him, respected and looked up to, who has always made the sacrifice to better someone else. Someone who helped me face my own demons.”
Prior to his suicide, Howard’s mother had given him advice on relationship issues.
“Women are like buses,” she reportedly said. “Another one will come along.”
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