Dean Parker is a surfer who went from West Palm Beach to Costa Rica, then in November on to Syria, where he helped Kurds resist the advance of the Islamic State.
Parker made headlines around the world after he participated in a radio interview and the world learned of his travels. But shortly afterward, on Facebook, Parker announced that joining in was tough and due to language barriers and safety issues, amateurs were best leaving the fighting to the Kurds and instead raising funds for them.
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He has said he's too busy to give interviews (we asked) but announced online that he has made it to Washington, D.C., where he's meeting with elected officials. But he needs money for food and hotels, he says, so he has started a GoFundMe Page. He wrote on Tuesday:
I have made it to DC. I have interviews lined up and starting to call congressmen/women to ask for their audience. To tell them what I learned in my time here about the great Kurdish people. Their fight for democracy, religious tolorance, equal rights for women. Ask for aid for the refugees the Kurds are caring for,almost 2 million. Friends have put me into a nice hotel for a few days, but I will need to stay into next week, get a hostel bed, put food in the fridge, bus fares etc. If you support my cause, please pitch in 5 or 10 bucks. Thanks to all of you that have helped out. It's gonna be a great week. Thanks again, Dean