A young North Carolina mother and Army veteran is taking the fight against ISIS militants personally — kissing her three children goodbye and flying to Iraq to help Kurd militias fight Islamic State militants.
Samantha Johnston, 25, left her Emerald Isle, N.C., home more than two months ago to assist the Kurdish peshmerga, the only fighters having any success against the terrorists. She is the only known American woman helping in this struggle.
“It was my choice. It was something that I decided and prayed about,” Johnston explained in a Skype interview with WJZY-TV.
“Luckily, my family – they don’t support me being here – but they’re being supportive, if that makes sense. I told them that I was leaving for a little while to help other little children.”
Johnson, who served in the U.S. Army from 2008 to 2011, made her decision after learning the atrocities committed by the terrorists.
“It was a long and hard process, a lot of praying, but it initially started tugging at my heart back in August,” she said. “That’s when the beheadings started happening, and I decided to dig into the information on what’s going on there.”
Soon after arriving in Iraq she realized how serious the situation was.
“During the transfer from the airport to the base I was going to, it was 3 in the morning. They didn’t give me a flak vest or anything, they gave me a police officer bulletproof vest, they had a rifle ready for me and they said in case of attack, here’s what you need to do,” she told the station.
“Every day we get up at 4 in the morning, we get in the Humvees, we go where we need to go, we train, and we train specifically for quick reaction, we come back, we clean our weapons, and prepare for the next day, but we are so close to Daesh [ISIS] that we are always on alert.”
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