When the news of Chris Jeon broke out, I was somewhat appalled. I posted the article on my Facebook and received an array of reactions, including some from those who were friends with Jeon. Might I mention they were egging him on and calling him an American hero. Now if he’s considered to be an “American hero,” what are our troops who come home from Afghanistan or Iraq called? Might point exactly.
Frankly, I think what Jeon did was idiotic. Not only is he not familiar with Libyan culture, history, or the Arabic language — he didn’t go to help the NTC rebels — but to have a good time. Various articles have described him as an observer or fighting for the cause. Either way, he is a combatant fighting pro-Qaddafi forces as a member of the NTC rebel force. According to my research, what he is doing is not illegal but will cause a big inquiry on his behalf when he returns. Jeon’s friends say he is known for being adventurous and spontaneous, and that this comes as no surprise. Fine by me. But if he wants to engage in a war, I say join the marines or the army. If he wants to help people, join the Peace Corps or volunteer in Somalia or somewhere in the world with a natural disaster. Don’t make a moron of yourself, your school, and your country. This is the sort of behavior that paints us with a bad image and creates more enemies, it’s like we’re making a mockery of the Libyan Civil War. It’s no wonder why the rebels got annoyed with him, he can’t even communicate when they’re under attack by Pro-Qaddafi forces.
You know what disturbs me even more? He’ll come back home and do a bunch of press, then be offered a multi-million dollar book deal and be set for life. Why does this bother me? Because there are plenty of Americans putting their lives in harms way to help people across the globe, and when they do something good like help feed the victims of famine in the Horn of Africa and die doing it, we fail to even bring them up. These people’s work goes unknown and they die nameless in American society; that’s what upsets me about this story. Yes, he did not ask for this attention, but we are wrong for making it seem like it’s a good thing. Correct me if I’m wrong.