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U.S. Marines in Nigeria: You do not have to be a citizen to be an ally

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With all the news surrounding the kidnapping of girls in Nigeria comes much misinformation, conspiracy theories, and apathetic perspectives. More importantly, the lack of empathy towards human kind. On May 10, 2014 Michelle Obama confirmed from the White House the presence of U.S. Marines in Nigeria as a result of the President's vow to support Nigeria's government in finding the girls kidnapped from their dormitory in the middle of the night and bring them home. Troops arrived in Nigeria on Friday. At this time there is no plan to send combat (Army) troops in to the country.

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As a veteran of the U.S. Army it is easy to understand how confusing it can be for American citizens to recognize the importance in rushing to the aid of other countries when our own country has many unsolved similar issues. As a Black woman born and raised in America I understand that freedom only comes with blood shed. More importantly, as a mother I understand the fearlessness that kicks in when our children's lives and futures are endangered. Therefore, priorities have no borders. Moreover, borders are man made, nature provides geographical climates and terrains that provide and support a variety of resources in which inhabitants far and near could gather, share, and exchange.

The nature of human abilities is amazing given the pros of having the ability to turn natural resources into magnificent architectural structures like the ancient pyramids and the amazing structures of modern day. Vehicles for transportation, including ships, trains, automobiles and airplanes, not to mention transforming crude oil into the fuel that moves them. Further, technology that allows us to communicate all over the world and yet we are more at odds than in sync. The cons of these abilities include the greed that comes from a thirst for more and the ability for humankind to find reasons why anyone deserves more than another simply because of race, gender, or culture. The willingness to fall into this system of belief breeds hierarchies and patriarchies, creating a pecking order often resulting in strife within as well as, resistance and revolts.

#BringBackOurGirls was specifically designed to bring awareness and support worldwide to the current issue in Nigeria, yet it is also a wake up call to citizens of every country to similar issues right in their own backyards. In 2010, The National Center for Victims of Crimes alone handled cases comprised of 28% of the U.S. population ages 14 to 17-year-old that had been sexually victimized. Keeping in mind those are the numbers of reported incidences to the organization itself, many go unreported to any authorities for a number of reasons. The numbers have since increased not to mention the growth in awareness to local human trafficking. More information on human trafficking can be found at U.S. Department of Justice: Special Report Characteristics of Human Trafficking Incidents 2008-2010.

CNN spoke with U.S. Pentagon Press Secretary, Adm. John Kirby on Saturday. Kirby divulged their investigation concludes the girls were broken up into small groups and are still in Nigeria due to the inability to move that large number of girls into Cameroon without having witnesses. Kirby provided no more details for obvious tactical reasons.


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