Mississippi Army Vet kills ISIS in Syria

Photo Credit: Facebook

To many individuals living in Mississippi, the fight against ISIS seems a million miles away. But for one man, he sought out the enemy, and decided to travel around the world to do his part in this ugly battle. Jeremy Woodard, a native of Mississippi, couldn’t stand by idly while ISIS conducted these terrible acts. He promptly bought a ticket to Turkey, and was then smuggled into Syria to fight alongside the Kurds.

Woodard previously served in the U.S. Army with the 2nd Infantry Division and completed tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan, fighting Al-Qaeda over the span of two and a half years.  In an interview with CBS News, Woodard showed his determination and level of commitment on fighting ISIS.  “I figured if I came over here more Americans and other people from other countries would come here. “Isis is much harder to fight. They’re stronger, they have more weaponry, and they have more financial backing. Al-Qaeda, the Taliban – they’re like a baby unit, much weaker.”

Woodard’s family back in the States fully support his choice, and keep in touch with him on a regular basis.  His Uncle in Texas [Stephen Woodard] said that if he didn’t have a family to look after, he’d be fighting alongside his Nephew every step of the way.  “We support him in his actions. These people, they need help,” he said.

“They’re killing us. They’re coming into our country as we speak.”

Shortly after arriving in Northeast Syria, Woodard’s belongings were ransacked when militants overran his position, and held it until relinquishing it back a few days later. During the fight however, Woodard claims to have killed two ISIS fighters.  “That doesn’t make me feel like a bad person,” he says. “They kill innocent people daily. They rape women and children and sell them into slavery. Killing an Isis [Islamic State] member, to me that’s doing a good deed to the world. All of them need to get wiped out. “You can’t talk to people like that. There’s no reasoning at all. There’s a war and we have to eliminate them.”

With ISIS’s well known terrible reputation, many are very concerned with packing their bags and going to where the fight is. But Jeremy knows that it’s something he has to do, and isn’t thinking about the consequences. A few hundred miles to the East of his current position, Jeremy recalls a bit of a close call during a bout of fighting, where he had a tooth chipped during a grenade attack.  “When I came over here, some people said it’s suicide. They could be right, but I don’t see it like that.

“I see it as doing a noble, good cause. If I may die, I know I came over here to try to help, so that’s what I want.”

Jeremy Woodard is on the far right. Photo credit: Facebook
Jeremy Woodard is on the far right. Photo credit: Facebook

Of course like any human being, Jeremy misses the normal things in life. These things include cheeseburgers, Coca-Cola, pizzas, and most important- his daughter.  Before heading to Syria, Woodard was a separated father with custody of his 4-year-old daughter, whom he misses very much.  “If I make it back, I’ll set her down, hopefully she will understand by then that I was just doing my job, what I felt I had to do as a person, to stand up and fight back. Hopefully she’ll understand. Hopefully my family will understand also… but at the moment, they’re giving me a hard time.”

I’m living the kind of life I really want. It’s not much, but I feel like I’m the richest person in the world right now, with what I have. Friends that you can actually count on – I mean you get shot at over here, you get bombed, but it’s a chance you have to take.”

Nobody knows when heroes like Jeremy will return home, least of all him. But it’s a good feeling to know that those who feel they can make the biggest difference are not waiting for the fight to come to them, they’re being proactive.

 

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