As worldwide terror attacks by ISIS have increased and the extremist group controls territory in Iraq and Syria, the Kurdish people are fighting back -- with the help of Americans who are volunteering outside of the U.S. military. MTV's "True Life: I Want To Go Fight ISIS" followed two of them, and we recently had an opportunity to check in with Robert to see how his life has changed since filming wrapped. Take a look at our Q&A below:
How were you feeling on the flight to the Middle East?
I was having mixed emotions: A part of me was happy and excited with a lot of adrenaline to be heading back to Syria with the Kurdish friends I've missed. Another part of me was nervous and having anxiety because, after all, it is Syria -- one of the worse places to be at the moment because of the civil war.
What is the current mood on the ground in Syria?
It's good at the moment. The Kurds are always happy, playing around, joking and dancing in our free time. But I have my days when I'm missing home and family. The Kurds notice this sometimes and go out their way to cheer me up if they see I'm a bit down, which helps a lot.
Have you seen combat since your arrival in Syria?
We haven't seen much at the moment. We got here when one of our biggest operations in Manbij ended and we took heavy losses. So most units now are resting and recuperating, waiting for the next operations toward Raqqa and al-Bab. Right now, the offensives in Mosul in Iraq are underway, so it's a matter of time for us to start.
Do you feel you've made the right decision by going there?
Definitely. I've seen some Kurdish friends from my old units last time I was here. Since I've been here, I've been able to visit an area called Kanya Kurden in Kobanî where we have plans to build a new school; there are about 1,800 children here with no school. Also, I was able to visit a hospital and speak to some doctors and talk about the hospital's situation and the equipment and medical supplies they need most urgently. People who wish to help us with the projects for the school and hospital can do so at ezidirelieffund.org.
How often are you able to speak to your family and friends back home?
I've only been here a little over three weeks so far, and I spoke to them once when I first arrived to Syria , then lost contact for them for almost three weeks. But I've spoken to them for the past two days, as I've been in a base with Internet to make contact with my organization with information for the school and hospital. I will be going back to my unit soon in a day or two.