Aaron Bushnell last words were Free Palestine

Aaron Bushnell's last words were, "Free Palestine" Who is Aaron Bushnell? He is a 25-year-old devout Christian from Whitman, Massachusetts who is an active-duty senior airman at Lackland AFB, San Antonio, Texas with a career field as a cypher specialist. He graduated from the Air Force basic training "top of class" in November 2020.

On February 25, 2024, Aaron walked calmly to the gate of the Israeli embassy in Washington, D.C. and set himself on fire in an extreme act of protest against the US involvement in the Israeli genocide in Gaza. He was dressed up in battle dress uniform and started a livestream video by saying,

"My name is Aaron Bushnell. I am an active-duty member of the US Air Force, and I will no longer be complicit in genocide. I'm about to engage in an extreme act of protest but compared to what people have been experiencing in Palestine at the hand of their colonizers, it's not extreme at all." Aaron then set himself in fire while shouting, "Free Palestine, free Palestine, free Palestine."

Despite the efforts by the US Secret Service and Washington, D.C police to distinguish the fire, Aaron died later at a local of hospital. His death sent shockwave in the US and throughout the world. Most noticeable was an embassy security guard who was aiming his gun frantically at Bushnell while he was ingulfed in fire.

Aaron Bushnell held Top Secret Secuity clearance for the last four years in service and he has access to highly sensitive military information. The day before his tragic death, he confided to his longtime friend that he has a direct knowledge of US troops fighting on the ground with the IOF against Palestinians in Gaza. Aaron also wrote to several reporters about his outrage about direct US involvement on the ground in the Gaza genocide.

Aaron Bushnell was neither extremist, a Jew hater, a sleeping cell, mentally unstable, nor a Hamas supporter. He burned himself to death to express his outrage about our government's involvement in a war that have killed over 30,000 people, 20,000 of whom were women and children. Aaron set himself in fire to ignite a fire within the living conscience of humanity towards the oppression of Gaza.

His message was heard loud and clear around the world and by Genocide Joe as well as Blinken and Austin that he could not live with Gaza's genocide, and he would rather be dead that living with shame guild and shame for the rest of his life.

I spent 20 years in the USAF peace and war time, and I never ran into anyone with Aaron Bushnell's depth of conviction, compassion, and bravery. Whenever speaking of brave Americans who died for the sake of Palestine, the name of Rache Corrie comes to mind. She was a 23-year-old peace activist who was run down with a bulldozer by an Israeli Occupation soldier while she was attempting to prevent a home demolition of a Palestinian family in Rafah.

The soldier was never charged with her death.

A hand salute from this Muslim retired veteran to Aaron Bushnell for his courage and support for the plight of the Palestinians. I would like also to see this American soldier be awarded The Medal of Honor in recognition distinguished service and his acts of valor of speaking out against using American men and women to fight Israel's dirty war, for which he paid the ultimate price.

Someone wrote eloquently online eulogizing Aaron said, "He saw the US Air Force an accomplice to mass murder. He was accusing them of having shamed America's Warrior Class to such an extent that he felt he had no choice but to disassociate himself from them in the most dramatic way possible.

He no longer saw a future of him as a true soldier in America, anyway...so in a final soldierly act, he made a statement to the world & to the military leaders who had disappointed him that in spite of their evil, he was a good soldier in the ideal sense who was only ever interested in protecting the innocent from the bad guys I think he might have succeeded in that effort."

People who attacked this brave young American and called him names, including the coward Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) who questioned Bushnell's loyalty and patriotism, are all heartless with an evil mindset and wicked souls. During his free time, Aaron visited home shelters and bought with his own money food and clothes to the needy.

He is a truth-telling young Christian man who has a heart the size of Texas. Unlike Aaron Bushnell, his critics spend their free time barhopping and watching sporting events while devouring down pizza and chicken wings.

Finally, the reason I chose to write about Aaron Bushnell's tragic death, I just wanted others to remember him, his life, and his love for Palestine. For that, this Palestinian veteran Aaron Bushnell will forever be in my heart.

Mahmoud El-Yousseph is a Palestinian freelance writer and retired USAF veteran. He could be reached at: [email protected]

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