Meet Samantha Lois Jay Johnston. She is a 25 year old mother of three who hails from Emerald Island, North Carolina. She served in the US Army from 2008-2011 as a geospatial engineer.
Now, she is fighting alongside Kurdish militants in the Middle East against the Islamic State (aka ISIS/ISIL).
Johnson laid out some of her reasoning during a chat with the Daily Caller News Foundation:
“It was extremely hard. I cried on the way to the airport and almost decided not to go. But if I did then I’d never forgive myself … ” Jay declined to say who is caring for her children, except to say they are in a safe place. (Jay has a sister, who independently contacted The DCNF.)
So what motivated this veteran to take up arms against the Islamic State?
“I decided to come fight because I felt like it was my duty … These children here who are homeless, orphaned; mothers and sisters have been raped and sold, fathers who have been killed … They are suffering, and I knew that I couldn’t just sit and do nothing. I couldn’t look my children in the eyes and say, I didn’t do anything to help.”
When asked if religion played a role in her decision, she said it was bigger than that. “No, to me this has nothing to do with religion,” said Jay. “I am a Christian but I’m protecting humanity. No matter the race or religion.”