Bullets screamed across the ruined streets in swarms thicker than flies on roadkill. Machine guns rattled.
And the rocket-propelled grenades. Those were the worst. They hammered down with awful concussive thuds, smashing cinder block into choking clouds of powder
For days in that sweltering October of 2017, Michael Enright crouched in an apartment building turned battle station, staring into the maw of the last Islamic State stronghold in Syria. Enright was the most unlikely of soldiers, pinned down there alongside his Kurdish and expat militia brothers, dodging bullets, blasting away with his Kalashnikov rifle, wondering whether these might be his last moments on earth.
Less than two years earlier, Enright — a Hollywood actor by way of Britain — had been tooling around Los Angeles in an aging black Porsche 911 and hobnobbing with movie stars at awards ceremony after-parties. Enright, who bears a passing resemblance to actor Russell Crowe, had appeared with Tom Cruise in the movie “Knight and Day.” He was guest starring as a bad guy on the television series “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” Since the 1980s he had been living the working actor’s dream-life in the entertainment capital of the world.
Yet, one day in 2015, in defiance of common sense and the tearful urgings of his friends, he decided to leave all that behind. Never having fired a gun at another human being, he embarked on an odyssey at the age of 51 that could have sprung straight from the imagination of a Hollywood scriptwriter.
His strange, sinuous meanderings have taken him on two harrowing tours of battle in Syria as a volunteer with the formerly U.S.-backed Kurdish militia. They also have thrust him into the byzantine pathways and switchbacks of the U.S. immigration system and, by his account, the wilds of international spy networks. His decision to overstay a U.S. tourist visa three decades ago and start a new life as an American has now made him unwelcome to come back to the only nation he considers home. So far, it hasn’t mattered that he risked his life fighting an American enemy.
Because he fears returning to the United Kingdom, where some British volunteers with the Kurdish militia have been arrested and accused of consorting with terrorists, he finds himself, essentially, a man without a country. Unable to work, his money dwindling, he wanders, flopping for the past two years in slum apartments or couch-surfing in Belize and elsewhere in Latin America in the homes of people he meets in the streets or online. He hauls a thin pad to sleep on, a backpack, a handful of tank tops and shorts, and a clunky, old laptop, hoping against hope that someone, anyone, will help him get back to Los Angeles.Click here
for the whole story in the Washington Post