Days before leaving for Syria, Rose brought his eight-year-old son, Jonathan, to Yankees stadium to tell him the news. Rose explained that he had to leave and that Jonathan’s grandparents would take care of him.
At the stadium, Rose asked his son, “You know what a terrorist is like? He's like, 'no,'" Rose said. "I just tell him I'm going to fight bad people and help innocent people. He understands that much,” reported NBCnews.
Rose now resides in Hasakah, Syria and hears bombing, airstrikes and shootings daily.
As a kid in the South Bronx, Rose was no stranger to shooting. He even joined a gang after dropping out of school. But after cleaning up his act, he became a security guard and then an ISIS fighter, according to NBCnews.
Rose joined the Kurd militia, “Lions of Rojava” in Hasakah, Syria. He’s far from the only American. Social media has attracted about 400 foreigners to this particular unit.
The militia’s goal is to push back ISIS forces from captured territory.
Rose felt that joining the military would be too challenging as a single dad. He views the Kurd militia as his only option to serve his country.
His second tour will last about six months till December, though he said he wished he could stay till the end. The terrorist fight became especially personal to him after friends were killed in action during his first tour.
He complained that ISIS had better weapons. Rose showed an NBC reporter his weapon which datedback to 1971. He said he tried not to think about his own mortality hanging in the balance.
“I’m eager to fight," Rose said. "I feel like I'm out here not just fighting for the Kurds but I'm fighting for my country as well … before they attack us."