(Source) Dean Parker was sitting on his couch one evening, relaxing after a long day at his job as a commercial painter. That’s when he saw a news report about Kurds fighting on northern Iraq’s Mount Sinjar, where ISIS had trapped thousands of people from the Yazidi religious sect. “I made the decision right there after watching those news reports,” Parker recalls. “After watching it for an hour, I was very upset. And I was online booking a ticket.”
He packed body armor from a local military surplus shop, a sturdy pair of boots, clothes and his e-reader — loaded with a copy of Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War.” A month later, Parker was in Syria, fighting with Kurdish forces on the front line against ISIS. He says he didn’t tell his family until he was already in Syria. “They were worried, you know messaging me: ‘Come home, come home.’ I told them I can’t. Not yet, anyways,” Parker says. “And after a couple days it sunk in and at they were very supportive.” Parker, a lanky 49-year-old who’s an avid surfer and a grandfather, is one of at least a dozen Westerners who have traveled to the Middle East to take up arms against Islamist militants, who have hundreds of foreign fighters of their own.
Well don’t I feel like an asshole. Here I am hating ISIS from the comfort of my own home, motherfucking them from thousands of miles away without actually doing anything. And then you have Dean Parker who just one day hops off his Surfboard and decides he’s going to fight a bunch of Terrorists. Making it seem as simple as deciding what you’re eating for dinner. Chinese, Pizza, or should we hop on a flight to Syria and start shooting these assholes in the face. My only question is how that phone call with his family went down. To not tell anyone until you’re in Syria is wild. Hey Dean, want to come over to mom’s house for dinner tonight? Nah, can’t, I’m halfway around the world with an AK in my hand and the art of war in my back pocket, fighting on the front lines. I commend the decision Dean, a million times over, but maybe next time don’t be the rashest person on earth, you know, for your family’s sake.
A 49 year old Grandfather is so Florida it hurts.