Wednesday's ghastly attack on the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo has incited a potent reaction among U.S. military personnel and veterans, particularly those who've served on the front lines of America's war on terrorism.
Twelve people were killed after masked gunmen, alleged Islamic extremists apparently seeking retribution for jokes aimed at the prophet Muhammad, stormed the newspaper's Paris office during a weekly staff meeting. One suspect is in custody, and a massive manhunt continues for two others.
In the aftermath, numerous social media accounts popular among U.S. troops have lit up with commentary, much of it lambasting or taunting the attackers and those who share such ideology. Others sought to show solidarity with the victims, using the hashtag #JeSuisCharlie. Here's a roundup:
From Awesome Sh-- My Drill Sergeant Said, population 772,000:
From Doctrine Man, population 31,000:
From UFC pro and Army vet Tim Kennedy, 57,000 Twitter followers:
From Army veteran and Middle East analyst Andrew Exum, 28,000 Twitter followers:
From Grunt Style, population 612,000:
From Terminal Lance creator Max Uriarte, 13,000 Twitter followers:
Uriarte, a former Marine lance corporal and Iraq War veteran, called the attack on Charlie Hebdo deeply troubling. Fans of Uriarte's Terminal Lance strip, which lampoons enlisted life in the Marine Corps, urged him to pick up his pen and take a swing at the militants by drawing Muhammad. That would be too blunt, he said.
"I feel like, for any artist or cartoonist or anybody who works in this kind of stuff, freedom of speech is such an important thing," Uriarte said, "and to see it sort of stomped on and destroyed so violently and so unnecessarily is so upsetting."
The concept he settled on is below. It will appear in Monday's print edition of Marine Corps Times.
'Je Suis Charlie'
Photo Credit: Maximilian Uriarte
Uriarte's friend and fellow Marine combat vet Paul Szoldra took a similar approach. Founder of the satirical news organization Duffel Blog, he penned a brief post sharing his appreciation for the First Amendment — and freely acknowledging that his exercise thereof could put his own life at risk:
Within the hour Duffel Blog's Facebook page, population 160,000, shared this:
Staff writer Derrick Perkins contributed to this report.