Chris Jeon is a pretty cool guy, eh fights revolutions and doesn't afraid of anything.Bradley Hope/The National
What did you do on your summer vacation? UCLA student Chris Jeon went and fought with the Libyan rebels in the revolution to oust Moammar Kadaffi. Jeon told the Christian Science Monitor that he wanted to see the revolution first hand.
“This is one of the few real revolutions,” he said. “I just thought I’d come check it out.”
Without telling his parents, he bought a plane ticket to Cairo and made his way to Libya where joined he up with the rebel fighters.
“I just go and see what happens,” he said. “At spring break I told my friends a 'sick' vacation would be to come here and fight with the rebels.”
The fighters treated him somewhat as a mascot, cheering whenever he said a nickname that they gave him.
"His new mates have even bestowed on him a moniker that is a mish-mash of the names of local tribes and areas: Ahmed El Maghrabi Saidi Barga. When communication invariably reaches an impasse, he merely repeats his name and the rebels erupt in raucous cheers," writes Bradley Hope in an article for the National.
Jeon received worldwide acclaim after this story broke and Facebook fan pages have sprung up dedicated to him. The 21 year old math major is known by his friends for being adventurous and brave.
"I've known Chris for a while. What I gathered when I first met him is that he's a different type of guy. .. He loves going into nature. He went to the Amazon by himself," said his friend Peter Duan.
It is unknown how much combat he saw or whether he killed anyone while he was there.
With the revolution wrapping up and his notoriety growing, the Libyan rebels got fed up with him and have sent him home. He was last seen on a truck headed back to Benghazi where presumably he will find his way home.
Update: I have just read in an ABC News blog that Chris Jeon is still in Libya and has no plans to go home at this time. He is still a mascot of the rebels and is traveling from brigade to brigade lifting the morale of the troops.
“There was no sign of rebels being ‘fed up’ with him. We talked to about five diff commanders and soldiers,” tweeted Hope. “And one guy, who had never met him, told us in all seriousness that Chris wasn’t American anymore. ‘He’s Libyan’.”
Chris Jeon, you are the man!