It was Thanksgiving Day in America, but Belden wasn’t celebrating.
His or platoon, had spent the past three weeks advancing on Raqqa, the Islamic State’s de facto capital, clearing villages of ISIS fighters along the way. “Part of me knew what I was getting into,” Belden said.
He met his second wife, Marina, a translator, while assigned as a counterintelligence officer in the former Soviet Union. Update: Ritter declined to comment to reporters gathered Thursday at his home near Albany, N. "I told you guys I'm not going to say anything, so please just go away," he said after answering the door to the home, adorned with a welcome mat that reads "U. Marine Corps, The Ritters."Officials from Barrett Township Police and the Monroe County District Attorney's Office held a press conference later Thursday afternoon to discuss the online sex sting that nabbed Ritter.
Brace Belden can’t remember exactly when he decided to give up his life as a punk-rocker turned florist turned boxing-gym manager in San Francisco, buy a plane ticket to Iraq, sneak across the border into Syria, and take up arms against the Islamic State.
The Pocono Record's attempts to reach Ritter at his New York home and his attorney, Todd Henry, were unsuccessful.