Wednesday was a fierce day of fighting in Iraq. The self-proclaimed Islamic State set off 21 car bombs in Ramadi as Iraqi forces gained ground in Tikrit, re-taking control of a military hospital there.

Back in the U.S., the debate continues about how best to deal with the terrorist group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. But for some veterans the time for talk is over. Unknown numbers of American war vets have taken up with foreign fighters battling ISIS.

Texas Standard speaks to retired Marine Corps. Sergeant Patrick Maxwell, who lives in Austin. Maxwell left the military with an honorable discharge in 2011. More recently he was a volunteer fighter with the Kurdish Peshmerga forces.

Maxwell says doesn’t necessarily disagree with the U.S.’s handling of ISIS in Iraq, but that his reasons for fighting the terrorists were more personal.

“I’m very libertarian in my beliefs and I don’t think we need to be committing U.S. boots to the ground to do another long war like that, ” he says. “But myself as a private citizen – if I want to go take a vacation and shoot some terrorists in the process, that should be my own business.”

Although Maxwell said his experience was eye-opening, it wasn’t as active as you would imagine.

“We weren’t actively seeking out the enemy,” Maxwell says. “There’s not a lot of incentive to go out and find the enemy and engage them, so [it’s] … sitting back and watching each other across a no man’s land with trenches and flags set up.”

Realizing they wouldn’t be engaging in a large scale offensive, Maxwell returned to the U.S. in January, two months before his initially anticipated return home.

“In a perfect world, [would I be] back with a rifle in my hand and actually able to do something that I want to do? Yes, but I don’t think that’s the way it would play out. I think it would be back to the same way it was ­– that political correctness, ‘let’s keep him out of the direct line of fire.’ … I don’t foresee if I went back that it would’ve changed anything at all.”

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  • Gilfna Doge June 30, 2016 at 8:09 pm

    Hello, I am Thai. I met Mister Patrick in Oceanside, CA. He said he door gunner for Submarin. He very nice. Mister Partrick always bring me McMuffin for breakfast. I no think he bad guy. He did no do these things. Mister Patrick always say “SemperFi” when he see me. He always have big back pack, he said he on very important mishon. Very Brave. Such honorable. Many commitment.

  • Monica June 30, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    Besides, have you seen the man? He’s sexy AF, I’d let him do caveman things to me.

  • Monica June 30, 2016 at 7:43 pm

    “Sources say that he had issues…” Yeah, getting drugged at a club. That’s an issue. Being white is an issue too because people want the money they think that you have. The only issue here is that 3rd World nations go after white people for money. This kind of shit happens all across the globe. This guy went out of his way, paid out of pocket to fight third world shitheads who kill babies and rape women. Your awesome third world press needs to quit making a buck off of this and him and get back to selling pina coladas to fat white tourists.

  • Anonymous June 3, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    if you dont know all of the facts dont comment

  • v February 5, 2016 at 8:20 pm

    what a piece a trash and disgrace to all marines

    • Disgruntledvet2vp July 2, 2016 at 11:48 am

      I have had the honour of serving beside patrick, I would die for this man. You sir are a disgrace. Bad things (like getting drugged with scopolimine) can happen to good people. Maxwell is a man amongst men, a true warrior.

      Be alert and stay calm, as you enter the sand box vietnam.

  • Lori February 4, 2016 at 11:56 pm

    He is a disgrace for the marine corps and the people of USA.

  • I in d sky February 3, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    Patrick Maxwell (30), from Texas has been identified as the attacker of 70-year-old grandmother of four, Grace Angela, a taxi driver on the Caribbean island of Aruba. Angela, suffered severe injuries during the brutal attack, including seven broken ribs and a broken nose needing reconstructive surgery.

    Aruba Police have Maxwell in custody; there are various serious charges against him. Maxwell punched her repeatedly in the face while sitting on her torso, and in an attempt to get away when a passerby stopped to come to Angela’s aid, Maxwell stole her car and passed it over her body. The assault took place in the early hours of Friday morning. Angela drove the passenger from the Palm Beach high rise resort area to an Oranjestad city center hotel, and upon arrival Maxwell refused to leave the car. He asked her to drive him to a pharmacy where he refused once again to leave the car, and attacked her. Maxwell, a top salesman for his company, was on Aruba with a group of 30 managers and salespeople from various Texan cities on an incentive trip as a reward for their excellent 2015 performance.

    It is unknown what exactly caused Maxwell to suddenly become violent and wanting to sexually assault and beat the 70-year-old woman. The investigation is ongoing, and Patrick Maxwell is to stand trial for his actions. Sources indicate that he had certain personal problems or issues that might have led to his aggressive behavior and the attack against the innocent victim who has been working as a cabdriver on the island for many years.

    • Anonymous March 13, 2016 at 10:28 pm

      Thank you for the update coz I was fixin to boost an brag on this scum bag…this man needs sum serious help plus prison, I hope he gets both!! Will you b posting ne more updates on this subject??

  • Nathalia Ponson February 3, 2016 at 3:38 pm
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    […] Meet the Texan Who Traveled Overseas to Fight ISIS | Texas Standard. §. §. Support our troops. » Manning on torture in new Guardian op-ed Chelsea Manning Support Network. […]

  • Sgt. David Caslin March 15, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    Coming home to family and friends here in the states is all nice and peaches. Okay we are home now so what do we do now. Go to work and forget all that made me realize how much I love life and what I would do to keep living. And to think people care so little for life kills me inside. In the USA we are not fighting to live or to make a living. We are live like we are untouchable. Try missing a day without eating one day would kill you. I say let any person who want to fight let’s all get together and go at one small army of American Free Fighter . Count me in.

    • Scott W. June 19, 2015 at 9:43 pm

      Sgt. Caslin, I am on board, now its a matter of how?

  • Kelly Frazier March 15, 2015 at 12:10 am

    I really think that you are a true marine and real American all the way! And you should be very proud of your self! God bless you for your work that you have done for your country! I have at of respect for you And your work! May God be with you always!

  • […] Iraq in 2006. After an honorable discharge in 2011, he returned to Iraq to fight ISIS in 2014. The Texas Standard […]

  • Ravakkah Bowman March 14, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    Good for him. There are too many complainers and not enough doers. I hope to be able to reach him to garner information for friends of mine who wish to do the same. Believe me if I were not so old I would be back in the business of taking care of business. If you think ANY of the political parties are going to think this is a good idea, think again. There is too much to be made from the chaos and killing of our own soldiers. As for film of burning in a cage, believe me no one wants it, but we all know it is a possibility when we strap on our gear and take care of business for those who are cowering next to their television sets. When the fighting music starts some of us were taught to get up and dance.

  • […] Iraq in 2006. After an honorable discharge in 2011, he returned to Iraq to fight ISIS in 2014. The Texas Standard […]

  • Wanda Stone March 14, 2015 at 8:56 am

    At least he has the Cajones to do something unlike the person occupying 1600 Pennslvania Av!

  • Justin Montana (@technochango) March 14, 2015 at 12:34 am

    @TexasStandard this is how you take moral responsibility! You don’t delegate it to thugs hired by the US govt. !!

  • Michael Younger (@makizdat) March 13, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    .@miriamelder Vacation plans, anyone? via the @texasstandard

  • grey kyanos (@greykyanos) March 13, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    @TexasStandard @MAATOHA if he wants to go and do that… it is indeed his choice – and responsibility. he should be held accountable.

  • Jαмєѕ Aℓℓєη (@JimInHeaven) March 13, 2015 at 9:57 am

    @TexasStandard @JulieBorowski : I would applaud a Christian militia doing the same

  • The Magician (@TempleofBoone) March 13, 2015 at 9:44 am

    @TexasStandard @JulieBorowski this guy isn’t a libertarian and doesn’t understand the message. He’s an interventionist and psychopath

    • Anonymous March 18, 2015 at 2:24 pm

      Says the Magician, really guy, you might be out of touch.

    • Anonymous May 24, 2015 at 11:02 pm

      He is a brother in arms friend. Not a psychopath. He is the very essence of what won WWII. I am a former Ranger (3rd Battalion) and have had two trips back. We are not crazy, we are warriors. What part of these folks want to kill you has not entered your cranium cavity. Every scum bag I split over there is one innocent life in Iraq saved. They are animals my friend…. Animals. I will keep killing the bad guys so you liberals can have your free speech. Looking forward to going back in 2 months. Your welcome.

  • CKyle March 13, 2015 at 9:40 am

    It’s all very well and good him running off to Iraq to play soldier; quite a different matter when ISIS release footage of him burning in a cage.

    • Pete Moore March 13, 2015 at 3:22 pm

      He is a soldier jackass. Honorably discharged Marine. Learn how to read.

    • Anonymous March 14, 2015 at 1:17 am

      Running off to play soldier? Guy was a Marine, it is not something that leaves you when you get out of the service. He is fighting for a cause he believes in to make the world a better place. Playing soldier really minimized what he is trying to do.

    • Anonymous March 18, 2015 at 2:25 pm

      If you don’t fight them on their turf, what will you do when they are over here burning people in cages, let me guess that’s when you’ll stand up, right…

  • quinn March 13, 2015 at 9:33 am

    ISIS is al Qaeda, and they are a protected class because they help move the globalist agenda of world domination and control “forward”..

    • Anonymous March 13, 2015 at 10:54 am

      ISIS is NOT al Qaeda. al Qaeda found them to be “too extreme” and shunned them; leading to a rift/separation between the two organizations.

  • […] years ago, but earlier this year the Texan headed back to the Middle East to fight ISIS on his own. Here’s why he says he did […]

  • John Schmuckately March 13, 2015 at 9:24 am

    Good for this man. Whenever I read about people in the US frothing at the mouth to commit US troops to fight for other countries and the expense of taxpayer dollar I suggest they do this. This man is not a Chicken-hawk like Obama, or Bush. He put his money where his mouth is.

    • Todd March 13, 2015 at 10:59 pm

      Here!Here! AMEN… I have a cleaner official AND moral record than the last 3 presidents and I couldn’t get a 4 votes. This lack of standards we have for presidents election qualifications. All of the people in this great country and the best we could come up with was Obama, Biden, Romney, Ryan, McCain, Palin etc…

  • valerian ross March 13, 2015 at 6:02 am

    I pity the poor man and sure hope he does not get into big trouble and expect the USA to rescue his arse.

    • Todd March 13, 2015 at 10:51 pm

      We would, if he did…

    • Anonymous March 14, 2015 at 6:43 am

      He’s already home…..reading words are tough I know.

  • Jimmy Brown March 13, 2015 at 5:41 am

    I’d like to know if Mr. Maxwell is a native Texan. This article portrays him as such and feeds the narrative that Texans are wild-eyed ultra-conservative, gun obsessed, military worshiping, fanatics. In my experience, most of the people who fit that description in Texas are transplants.

    • Tina March 13, 2015 at 3:32 pm

      You sure read a LOT into this article….you sound mire like an irate female trying to high jack a person and state your own agenda. Which of other things appears you must really dislike conservatives given your overbearing,snarky tone. Glad I not a native Texan like you must be. Sheesh. Please reread and lighten up!

    • Anonymous March 14, 2015 at 6:11 am

      Libertarianism is ultra conservative?

  • Robert Butler March 12, 2015 at 9:31 pm

    Americans have a long history of doing this. Americans went to fight against Spanish dictator Francisco Franco. The famous Fighting Tigers in China fought against the Japanese. etc etc.

  • Usmc0351 March 12, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    you spelled Marine Corp with no s.

  • Phillip Thompson March 12, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    I think if this person is not an officially appointed lawful combatant operating within the confines of an approved US military action he should face criminal charges for actions he committed while abroad. If you want to fight, enlist. If you think the military is missing an opportunity, work through your chain of command. We cannot turn a blind eye to vigilante activities no matter our personal feelings.

    • Adam Jefferson March 13, 2015 at 9:38 am

      I think if you want to go assist people in a place where there is no law and order, you shouldn’t be brought up on criminal charges. You have a right to kill in self defense. And US jurisdiction doesn’t extend over there as much as you may want America to control the world

    • Anonymous March 13, 2015 at 10:13 am

      Why, on Earth would they have to be officially lawful combatant and have to operate within the confines of the US military? When, the US is teaching these fanatics how to fight. And, what makes them so special? After all, the US military had predominantly left Al-Qaeda to do with whatever, on the notion that it was no longer our cause! Besides, some of us are perfectly capable of handling ourselves… The military had trained us, and now, have discarded us for various reasons, whether it be religious, or financial down sizing the military. Most of us wanted to see a new beacon of light in that region, and it took one leader of a free nation to snuff out that light! So, all of us comeback, and are sitting on the sidelines wondering what’s going to happen to our lives… This man, has made up his own mind, and like many other freedom fighters, still believe in protecting their families, by setting out, and taking the fight to the enemy!

    • Anonymous March 13, 2015 at 10:25 am

      So much wrong in so many ways. Why should he face charges? Charged under what laws? The U.S. Military forces are supposed to be for defending our nation not engaging in “opportunities” to make war. I don’t understand your problem? This was a private citizen who used his own funds to go fight for people he considered friends against a barbaric enemy.

    • Buddy Love Jr. March 14, 2015 at 7:52 am

      That’s all well and good Mr. Law of Land Warfare but Obama is too chickenshit to put boots on the ground (and his State Dept. begs the Kurds not to let our guys into the action) so you have to do it on your own. If it were up to people like you, the Kurds would be slaughtered and we’d all have our heads chopped off.

    • Doc March 14, 2015 at 1:20 pm

      Okay first and foremost there is US law this young man broke and what is a “lawful combatant” This term has never appeared in any reading of the articles of war I have ever read. Second to fight a war you do not have to go and fight under “US Jurisdiction” and Americans have a storied history of fighting with other nations on their own, mostly due to their convictions lay in the same place as those they fought, yet for some political reason our government was not involved in the conflict. This young man saw evil men committing unspeakable acts of violence and human rights violations and decided that his skill set was needed over there. Lastly he gained this skill set while serving in the US Marine Corps. I do not know if you even read the article, but you certainly are a “special” breed and I do not mean that in a good way.

    • Scott W. June 19, 2015 at 9:58 pm

      Re-read the article fella. He is a Marine that served honorably to defend the innocent. In the article he states that they did not go looking for the fight. So that sounds to me like he was just defending. “Charges”, really?! What world do you live in? If you don’t want to do anything about ISIS, that’s fine but don’t make bogus statements because a Marine wants to do some good over there. I am looking to do the same thing. And yes, I was in the Marines as well, so I defended people like you, so enjoy the freedoms that you have, don’t abuse them like way too many Americans already do.

  • Emily Donahue (@EmilyDKUT) March 12, 2015 at 9:11 am

    "When I told Iraqis I was from Texas their eyes lit up" Why a former Marine returned to Iraq to fight ISIS on @TexasStandard right now

    • Anonymous March 13, 2015 at 4:51 pm

      Well he is more than likely a Christian, most Texas people are. Christians are being wiped out and no one seems to care. So he is taking it upon himself to go do something about it….

  • Emily Donahue (@hipnews1) March 12, 2015 at 9:10 am

    A Texan fighting ISIS in Iraq? We’re talking to him right now on @TexasStandard Hear why a former Marine returned to Iraq to fight ISIS