May 2, 2011 is a significant date to a lot of Americans, as this is the day Osama Bin Laden was killed. Though there has been extensive debate on the moral victory of his assassination, according to MMAWeekly’s Damon Martin, MMA fighters Brian Stann and Tim Kennedy reflect and share insight on the current events.
Tim Kennedy, a Strikeforce middleweight, joined the military forces when he saw the September 11th events unfold. He eventually worked his way into the Army Special Forces and was directly involved in searching for Bin Laden.
Upon hearing the news of Osama’s death, Kennedy felt sincere, unexpected emotions:
“It was a lot of really weird emotions. One of course a feeling of finality, of closure, for something that has been going on for such a long time. By no means is the war over, but in the sense of I’ve been in Afghanistan and Pakistan and Iraq, and some of those trips were specifically looking for that guy. The book has not been written, but it’s a chapter that’s seemingly been closed.”
Always a fighter, whether in the ring or representing his beloved country, Kennedy explains that he’s always ready for battle:
“It makes me want to, like right now, I just want to get on a plane and go back over there. I know that the spring forward Taliban movement and Al-Qaeda is happening, so every time it starts getting warm all the foreign fighters start coming back into Afghanistan and get really excited about fighting for their cause, and now they have even more fuel to their flame is that their leader has just been killed.”
Brian Stann, a teammate and close friend of Tim Kennedy, is a UFC 185-pounder, who was a decorated Marine Captain who fought in Iraq, and a graduate of the United States Naval Academy.
As many Americans feel the Al-Qaeda leader’s death is a moral victory, Stann doesn’t want people to lose sight of the continuing mission for freedom in the Middle East, as he explains on MMAWeekly Radio:
“It takes a lot to get me excited. It’s not like the death of Osama Bin Laden can bring any of my Marines back, or any of my friends or any of those family members from New York City that day or the Pentagon, but it’s definitely a positive thing for us.”
“There’s still troops that are deployed overseas, there’s still a battle to be won, and we still need to remain vigilant against terrorists in this country. It’s not like we can let our guard down just because Osama Bin Laden’s dead.”
“We have to remember and it’s very unfortunate, but there are people out there that their main goal is to kill Americans. It’s just a fact. They’ve just been brainwashed that it’s the right thing, and they have no problems whatsoever killing innocent people. They have no problem killing children. I’ve seen it first hand, and it’s very unfortunate.”
Though Stann feels Osama’s death is a moral victory for America, it’s also quite integral in destroying global terrorism:
“The enemy does a very good job of publicizing any little success, even if they twist the facts like they normally do, but they publicize the heck out of it via Al-Jazeera and their networks and really ignite the morale of their people and really make it look like they’re winning the war on terror. So something like this is a major blow to their information operation. This is their hero of everything.”
“Something like this can definitely boost your morale for the coming weeks and really move you forward, and keep your spirits high, while you’re really in a very demanding time of your life. I definitely see this as a morale boost. I see it as a morale boost for America and I think it’s great for us in an area that has been weak in comparison to our enemy, which is information operations.”
The American citizens have great reason to be grateful, to be represented by heroes such as Brian Stann and Tim Kennedy, as well as every single person in their military.
It’s an honor to have Stann and Kennedy fight for America, and it will truly be an honor to see them in the Octagon.
Roland Riso is a contributing writer for Bleacher Report. All quotes were obtained from MMAWeekly.com and MMAWeekly Radio.