GWER, Kurdistan — A recently retired Marine sergeant major found himself in an awkward position yesterday after he donned a reflective belt while fighting ISIS in Peshmerga-held Northern Iraq, sources said.
Retired Sgt. Maj. Frank Abbot, 38, is just one of many Americans who have responded to the international call to arms in the global struggle against the Islamic State, and he put on his trusty “glow belt” to inspire his comrades to remember that “safety is paramount.”
Abbot told members of the media embedded with him that doesn’t want to “make waves” among his new battle buddies. However, his “safety jihad” has thus far fallen on deaf ears.
“Everyone in the US Marine Corps knows these things protect you from a range of hazards, from small arms fire to staff officers with ‘good ideas.'”
When Abbot’s constant refrain of “You never see a dead man in a glow belt!” wasn’t enough, he decided to begin calling on the international community to send reflective belts for his fellow fighters. But more recently, Abbot was seen inspecting Peshmerga trenches for cigarette butts and ensuring that latrines were free of graffiti.
“America please send us guns, tanks, and explosives, but please don’t send us any more assholes like this,” said one Peshmerga fighter, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
At home, government officials are conflicted about Abbot’s efforts. While Defense Secretary Ash Carter has praised the man’s “dedication to workplace safety and risk aversion,” the State Department’s official stance is that it “does not support vigilante safety.”
The Kurds’ continue to request better arms to halt the increasingly violent attacks from ISIS, but Abbot reminds them that they can’t and won’t be trusted with AT4 rockets or machine guns “if they can’t even figure out how to abide by the simple fucking safety memorandum posted in the mortar dugouts.”
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