Recently Americans for Peace and Tolerance released a documentary film entitled Losing Our Sons. This documentary is based upon on true events that occurred on June 1, 2009 in nearby Little Rock, Arkansas. On that date Hakim Abdul Mohammed, a Muslim convert, gunned down two American soldiers at the Army Navy Recruiting Center on Rodney Parham Road. One of those soldiers, Private William Andrew Long, died and another soldier was wounded. This film documents meticulously the events leading up to this fatal tragic encounter on an early June day in Little Rock.
Abdul Hakim Mohammed began life as Carlos Bledsoe in Memphis, Tennessee. He was born into a devout Baptist family. His father owned a local tour company called Blues City Tours. Melvin, Carlos’ father, was determined to give his son the best education possible and at some later point turn over the family business to him. So Carlos went to nearby Nashville to enter college. It was there that Carlos encountered a virulent strain of radical militant Islam. He converted to this movement and changed his name to Abdul Hakim Mohammed. Abdul was sponsored by his Nashville mosque to study in Yemen where he was further radicalized under the tutelage of Anwar al-Awlaki. Abdul came back to the United States determined to carry out Jihad.
Andy Long was also raised in a Christian home. At the age of twenty four he joined the U.S. Army. He finished his basic training and was awaiting his first deployment to South Korea. On that fatal day of June 1, 2009 he was shot in the chest at point blank range four times. Despite heroic medical treatment he expired from his wounds in less than an hour.
Daris Long lost his only son, Andy, to an act of Islamic terrorism. Melvin Bledsoe lost his son, Carlos a.k.a. Abdul Hakim Mohammed, to a court mandated life sentence plus 30 years without possibility of parole. Hence, the title of the film is Losing Our Sons.
However, there is saving grace to this horrible tragedy. Daris Long and Melvin Bledsoe the two fathers of the two lost sons reconciled. Now Long and Bledsoe are speaking around the country warning about the dangers of Islamic radicalization. On Fathers’ Day they both appeared on the Mike Huckabee Show to speak out against this danger. Both men are on a campaign to make sure no other American family has to suffer a similar calamity.