The New York Times reported that a growing number of US veterans are fighting for Ukraine in their battle against Russian military forces.
The Call For Aid
Recently, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called for an “international legion” of volunteers. As a result, many people from different countries, such as the United States, have heeded Zelensky’s call.
Last week, the Ukrainian minister of foreign affairs, Dmytro Kuleba, encouraged foreigners to fight for Ukraine in the battle against Russia. He sentimentally mentioned how closely related the situation is to the German occupation during World War II.
“Foreigners willing to defend Ukraine and world order as part of the International Legion of Territorial Defense of Ukraine, I invite you to contact foreign diplomatic missions of Ukraine in your respective countries. Together we defeated Hitler, and we will defeat Putin, too,” he said.
Top officials, including Ukrainian President Zelenskyy, have mentioned that volunteers exceed a number of 15,000. However, several media reports within Ukraine convey that only a small number of volunteers make it to the front lines.
Are US Veterans Fighting For Ukraine?
Hector, a former Marine from Florida who served two fierce tours in Iraq, said that Ukrainian citizens were suffering, galvanizing him to provide immediate relief in any way he could.
“Sanctions can help, but sanctions can’t help right now, and people need help right now,” said Hector. “I can help right now.”
“A lot of veterans, we have a calling to serve, and we trained our whole career for this kind of war,” he added. “Sitting by and doing nothing? I had to do that when Afghanistan fell apart, and it weighed heavily on me. I had to act.”
On Friday, Hector left for Ukraine to volunteer in the fight, bringing along rifle scopes and body armor that was given to him by fellow US veterans.
Other US veterans are headed to Ukraine for humanitarian purposes. Chad Robichaux, a Marine recon veteran who founded the organization Save Our Allies during the fall of Kabul to help evacuate Afghan allies.
The organization comprises almost entirely US veterans, most of whom come from the special forces. They have been conducting rescue missions to get Ukrainian civilians away from the fighting, in addition to providing medical aid.
“One of our teams just missed a tank blowing up,” Robichaux told military.com. “There were bodies still smoldering. There’s a huge security risk.”
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