Monthly Archives: November 2015

John Gallagher: Rest in Peace.

I’m heartbroken today after hearing the news of my friend John Gallagher’s death.

John wrote to me after he read my book, and we began corresponding and became friends. He was a very talented writer, but I was struck by just what a genuinely nice guy he was. Honorable, principled, sincere, driven, but always very humble…he was just an amazing man.

A veteran of the Canadian armed forces, John announced last spring that he was going to fight ISIS. He traveled to Iraq in May where he was embedded with the Peshmerga, and then went into Syria in July. His correspondence became infrequent with a lack of internet access (and having his hands full fighting evil and whatnot), but I was able to tell him of my unending admiration for him and what he was doing.

John was killed this morning by an ISIS suicide bomber. I’m very much in shock, and have felt like I’ve been punched in the stomach since I received the news. I’m not very good at processing feelings any more, but I know that I am overwhelming sad for John’s family and for all of us who have lost such a wonderful, talented, selfless, and heroic friend. I am angry at the evil that John and so many others have given everything to fight. And I am extraordinarily both honored and humbled to have had such a great man’s presence in my life. Thank you, John, for everything. You will always have my admiration, and you will always be an inspiration. The world is a lesser place tonight. ¬†Rest in peace, my friend.

Hassakeh, Syria -  John Gallagher, a Canadian former soldier with the 2nd Battalion of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry at a Kurdish frontline position in Hassakeh city in northeast Syria.  A handful of Canadians have joined the Kurds in both Iraq and Syria in the fight against Islamic State. (Photograph by Adnan R. Khan)

Hassakeh, Syria – John Gallagher, a Canadian former soldier with the 2nd Battalion of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry at a Kurdish frontline position in Hassakeh city in northeast Syria. A handful of Canadians have joined the Kurds in both Iraq and Syria in the fight against Islamic State. (Photograph by Adnan R. Khan)