Army vet who fought Islamic State in Syria is now missing in U.S.

Bruce Windorski is a former Army Ranger and police officer from Wisconsin who joined the war against Islamic State in Syria for several months. Photo Credit: Facebook

A 40-year old Army veteran who battled  ISIS in Syria, has been missing for almost ten days, here in the States.

The former Army Ranger and father of two young girls is described by friends and family as an avid outdoorsman who enjoys hunting and diving. Last seen by his wife, Oct. 17, Bruce Windorski’s last known physical location was Gillett, Wisconsin.

Just before he went missing, Courtney Windorski believed her husband was going on an overnight trip about 45 miles southwest of Stevens Point, with other veterans who suffered from PTSD.

But when he failed to return home last Sunday she soon found out there was no veterans gathering planned that weekend.

Windorski’s last cell phone activity was tracked to Ozark County, Mo., last Sunday – the day after he left home, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. In an interview with the Sentinel, Courtney said some friends in Missouri were searching a part of the Mark Twain National Forest over the weekend, where they thought Bruce may have gone.

“He knows how to survive,” his wife said. “If this is a voluntary thing he’s doing, I’m angry.”

Bruce was featured in a September Wall Street Journal article about American veterans who have voluntarily gone overseas to fight Islamic State.

According to the WSJ, he left his home in January without telling his wife and two children what he was doing, and kept in touch with them whenever possible while in Syria.  He ended up staying for several months, but had initially wanted to travel to Iraq, reportedly to get closure for his brother’s death.

His older brother, also in the Army, died when his helicopter was shot down in 2009.

In an interview while in Syria, Bruce said, “I’m not a mercenary or in love with killing people,”  He continued to say he would rather see a “random Westerner” fighting alongside the Kurds than another full-scale invasion.

While he told reporters for the WSJ that his trip overseas helped him resolve some issues he was having, his wife says Bruce still had problems upon returning home.

“He began isolating himself, hardly ever leaving home. He was irritable. He did get some counseling, and joined a veterans support group.”

But she also said about this most recent trip: “There was nothing unusual about his behavior before he left home….he hugged me the way he always did. It wasn’t as though he pulled me tighter because he wasn’t coming back.”

Windorski apparently took fishing tackle and up to six hunting rifles when he left his home for the supposed overnight trip in his gray Dodge Durango.

He’s 5’11” tall, weighs 238 lbs and has green- hazel eyes. Bruce has tattoos on his upper back, upper left arm, upper right leg, and foot. Anyone with information is urged to contact local, state, or federal authorities.

Tattoo 1

Tattoo 2

Tattoo 3


  • Michele graduated with a B.S. in Telecommunication from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications. She has spent numerous years working in the news industry in south Florida, including many positions ranging from being a news writer at WSVN, the Fox affiliate in Miami to being an associate news producer at WPLG-TV, the ABC affiliate in Miami. Michele has also worked in Public Relations and Marketing.

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