Samantha Lois Jay Johnston, a mother of three from North Carolina has recently volunteered to help fight ISIS in Iraq. The 25 year old from Emerald Island previously served in the United States Army from 2008-2011 and has just joined the Kurdish Peshmerga troops, who are fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
“I decided to come fight because I felt like it was my duty,” Jay said. Johnston, divorced, leaves behind a five-year-old and three-year-old twins. According to Daily Mail, Johnston cried “all the way to the airport” and almost changed her mind. However, if she decided not to go she would never forgive herself.
“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,” Jay said.
“I couldn’t look my children in the eyes and say, ‘I didn’t do anything to help.’”
She assures her children are in a safe place.
“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.”
Jay went looking for the Kurdish fighters and claims she “made the right connections and verified they were reliable.”
After she returns, Jay plans on starting a humanitarian organization to continue helping the Kurdish community. She is constantly updating her Facebook page with pictures of herself while she is overseas.
“Yes, I’m in Iraq and I’m staying safe. I’m with amazing people and I love being here in Kurdistan. I can’t give much details about what I’m doing here for security reasons but thank you for all the prayers and encouraging words,” Jay said in one of her post.
Another post read, “I have been in Kurdistan for two weeks and the people here have changed me already.. For the better, forever. The world should look to kurdistan as a role model. I miss my family very much but the kurds go above and beyond making me feel at home. #herbijikurdistan.” Her Biji Kurdistan translates to “Long Live Kurdistan.”