Photograph taken by Samu Hupli. - Wikimedia Commons
The ongoing conflict between the terrorist group the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and various other groups within the region have begun to attract veterans from both the United States and its allies. There are now ongoing online recruitment efforts, such as those by the Lions of Rojava, which is actively seeking foreign fighters. Lions of Rojava itself is partly run by a former Army soldier named Jordan Matson, who lives among Kurdish fighters. Many of these foreign volunteers see combating ISIS as simply an extension of the missions they were tasked with in Iraq and Afghanistan. But this isn’t the first time American veterans left their country to fight outside the purview of the military. Decades ago, after the end of the Vietnam War, a few American servicemen found themselves on the battlefields of a tiny former African nation: Rhodesia.