Former Navy Seal Ephraim Mattos shares his experiences working with the Free Burma Rangers humanitarian group to rescue innocents from slaughter by ISIS in the active war zone of Mosul, Iraq.
After years of training, deploying, and conducting missions as a US Navy SEAL sniper in the War on Terror, 25-year-old Ephraim Mattos found himself unsatisfied and searching for a more fulfilling life of service. After two deployments with the SEAL Teams, resulting in hatred and bitterness towards his enemies and vivid flashbacks and depression when he returned home, he decided he would not re-enlist, and began to seek another way to help people suffering from the ravages of war, and maybe find some small measure of peace for himself.
Mattos' desire to help others drove him to join a group of volunteer warriors that deliver medical care and humanitarian aid to abandoned people in the most violent places on the planet, the Free Burma Rangers (FBR) described by the New York Times as "Doctors Without Borders - With Guns." FBR's founder quickly became a role-model for Mattos as he learned the true meaning of FBR's motto: De Oppresso Liber - Liberate the Oppressed.
Mattos and the team of ex-military "aid workers" embed with the Iraqi military and assault the bloody stronghold of ISIS: West Mosul, Iraq. While in the thick of battle, Mattos and his team of humanitarians witness scenes of mass executions and acts of cruelty that are largely unknown to the rest of the world.
In the end, Mattos' deep wounds, both physical and mental, were healed. His message to fellow war fighters and the world was learned from the FBR: When you fight, strike terror into the hearts of your enemy as you slaughter them at every turn, but while you do, let your soul be consumed with love for those who stand behind you, not hatred for those who stand against you. When the battle has ended, if you give in to the hate, your defeated enemies will survive in your mind and continue to tear you apart from the inside. Release the hatred you have for your enemies, and the mental trauma and bitterness will be released from you. When you go home, forgive your enemies and regard them with pity and sadness, and hold your family close.