North Carolina Mom Joins Kurds to Fight ISIS

FOX 46 Charlotte

In an exclusive interview with Fox48 Charlotte, 25-year-old Samantha Johnston explained why she voluntarily left her three young children at her home in Emerald Isle, North Carolina, to join the Kurdish Peshmerga in the fight against ISIS.

“It was a long and hard process, a lot of praying, but it initially started tugging at my heart back in August,” she said. “That’s when the beheadings started happening, and I decided to dig into the information on what’s going on there.”

Johnston, who served in the U.S. Army from 2008 to 2011, has been in the city of Kirkuk for just over two months. As far as she knows, she’s the only American woman fighting with the Kurds. She recalled her departure from her family.

“It was very hard, there are no words to express what I was feeling at that time,” she said. “My family member drove me to the airport and she kept saying she can stop, that she can turn around, and I wanted her to, but at the same time I knew this was something that was important to me and I knew I needed to come and help in any way, but it was terrible, I hate remembering that trip.”

Johnston’s children, a 5-year old and two 3-year-old twins, are now in the care of her family. The young mother commented on the Obama administration’s handling of ISIS.

“No, the United States is not doing enough, whatsoever,” she said. “We are losing this fight, and we need the support from our government, America, and other western countries.

Asked specifically about the president, she said that she was “Embarrassed. Embarrassed for America. I don’t want to give my opinion on Obama.”

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 16 comments… add one }
  • Will J Futo May 11, 2018, 7:22 am

    If we would have waited for England and France to solve their own problems, we’d all be speaking German right now! Put that in your pipe and smoke it…

  • Andrew Ling February 10, 2017, 7:25 am

    A NAIVE women to be sure. The lives of American soldiers, including hers, are not worth the sacrifice we must make to help the Kurds to fight their own problems. Sure ISIS is terrible. They ought to be wiped from the face of Earth. You simply can not take it in your hands. I have lost enough of my family members to foreign wars. There are no easy solutions to this nightmare. Good or bad, let our leaders decide on the course of action.

  • ghostrecon June 25, 2015, 2:24 am

    She’s a Spook ppl… YES They Do Exist.

  • Damon June 22, 2015, 6:49 pm


    Well, I hope for her children’s sake that she really thought this out. The peshmerga are allies of the US only in that we share a common enemy, ISIS. Before the rise of ISIS, the peshmerga were identified as a terrorist organization by the Turkish government, a formal US ally, because of their penchant for cross-border attacks and bombings in their quest to create an independent Kurdish state.
    Beyond that, there is no UCMJ, no formalized chain of command, no protection from prosecution, should she become involved in or accused of war crimes or atrocities against civilian populations, which, as there are no several factions involved in the conflict which are not uniformed or state-sponsored militaries, is very likely.

    As an aside, I personally don’t believe the United States is “losing this fight” or “not doing enough whatsoever”, as I fail to see how internecine squabbles among adherents of the Islamic religion happening in the Middle East is even remotely our problem. The United States taxpayer already spent 2 trillion dollars, thousands of American lives, and 9 years trying to teach the Iraqi military and police to be a viable force, only to have them desert or flee en masse at the first sign of ISIS agression. These people won’t fight for themselves, why does it devolve to us to fight for them?

    • Serge June 22, 2015, 10:53 pm

      Well, maybe, just maybe if we did not overthrow Saddam Iraqi army would be able to handle ISIS? After all it contained much better armed and trained Iran forces.
      As to this woman I believe we should wish her luck. She is the one who fights for freedom. Our freedom as well as Kurd’s and Iraqis..

  • Riley June 22, 2015, 1:04 pm

    Are any of ya all combat vets? It don’t sound like it. As a combat vet myself, we run on a different mindset than most people who haven’t done anything but set here in the safety of the great u.s.a. Some families are close and raise each others kids all the time and they turn out fine. Some of us feel more at home or safe being in the combat zone,than we do at home. We go to third world countries and see how deprived the people of that country are and think just how spoiled we are here. She may feel that her children are in good hands and have been in that position before do to deployment. Who knows. But say good for her and good luck from a brother.

    • Jerry June 22, 2015, 4:18 pm

      Well said,,and beside why are so many people feel they can tell others what is right or wrong,We have a big government that is always in our face on what is best for us,because we can not think for our self,we need less of Obama socialist leader and more strong people,who feel okay to decide what is best for themselves and family. Just to many I know it all people as it is!! Best of luck to her and her family as well, Also best of luck to any, who can and do know what is best for themselves!!!

    • Devil Dog June 23, 2015, 1:43 pm

      As a former Marine, I agree we tend to have a different mindset, but if fighting Isis is her desire, she should have kept her legs together and not had children. Like others have posted, her CHILDREN are what’s important.

    • Martin. June 10, 2016, 8:36 am

      This women’s family should be the most important thing in her life. Running off and leaving HER children to be raised be others is irresponsible and selfish. We get it, nobody but you has ever served this Country or has seen combat. It shouldn’t be about how someone “feels” it should be about what is best for the family she chose to have. This is everything that is wrong with this Country today. Selfish people putting their wants over their responsibilitys. Now her children get to grow up knowing that they are not the most important thing in their mothers life. Sure that will not negatively impact their trust in adults.

  • OxyKid June 22, 2015, 10:39 am

    With 3 small children, her responsibility is ***NOT*** fighting ISIS, it is being at home, fighting for the well being of her children.

    Personally, I don’t think she is much of a mother, if she abandons them to fight for a group of people who have known strife throughout history. Why? Because they don’t have the sense to pull themselves up by the ‘bootstraps’ and think for themselves, instead, becoming mind wiped by their belief in islam, muhhamad, and allah that prevents them from using their own brains.

    And yes, what about the husband/father. Perhaps that is why she abandoned her children, ie: marital problems. Easier to run and commit suicide by war. Who knows…one thing is for certain, that woman is not ‘all there’ in her head and needs help, and not from a bullet from ISIS.

    So we should support that mentality? Again, personally, my answer is no.

    • 1911 June 22, 2015, 8:28 pm

      I agree with most of everything you say here except for the second paragraph. You ought to do a little research on the Kurds and their fight for freedom before grouping them with the usual uneducated assumption against any and all people of Muslim faith.

  • Brian June 22, 2015, 10:35 am

    She is going to get herself killed like the guy from Boston. She will not have the same support network that she had in the Army. This is going to be very different and a lot more dangerous. Even if she makes it, they will not let her leave until the fight is over. This a very bad idea even for those with experience. It does not appear that she is any kind of professional adventurer. She is an idealist who is going to die for her beliefs. I fell sorry for her children.

  • James June 17, 2015, 6:36 pm

    Does she have a husband? Do her children have a father?

    • DRAINO June 18, 2015, 8:49 am

      Well, I suppose they could all be test tube babies, but the sperm had to come from a male for sure. Really? Your going there? That’s ALL you got out of this article? LOL! I’m sure if there were an unhappy husband in this story, you would have heard about it. She’s a big girl, old enough to make her own decisions. She served in the military, has a modicum of common sense. Not sure I would have made the same choice, but the decision is hers to make. She isn’t trying to kill an unborn baby, she is trying to defend people that our leaders have failed.

      • Joe June 22, 2015, 8:25 am

        I think it’s not unreasonable to “go there.” Seems to me she has a duty to her children ahead of any to the Kurds.

        Not that she’s of the same mindset, but perhaps if we took better care of our own country instead of meddling in the affairs of others for the last 60+ years, we’d all be better off.

        • ejharb July 28, 2015, 9:37 pm

          So we just wait until they come and kill us???
          Well waits over ace time to make some good johadis,,,,

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