Combat death of former US Marine puts spotlight on Americans fighting in Ukraine

Combat death of former US Marine puts spotlight on Americans fighting in Ukraine

CHICAGO — Harrison Jozefowicz stop his job as a Chicago police officer and headed abroad quickly after Russia invaded Ukraine. An Military veteran, he mentioned he could not assist however be a part of American volunteers searching for to assist Ukrainians of their battle.

The video featured is from a earlier report.

Jozefowicz now heads a bunch referred to as Activity Pressure Yankee, which he mentioned has positioned greater than 190 volunteers in fight slots and different roles whereas delivering practically 15,000 first support kits, serving to relocate greater than 80 households and serving to ship dozens of pallets of meals and medical provides to the southern and jap fronts of the battle.

It is tough, harmful work. However Jozefowicz mentioned he felt helpless watching from the US final 12 months through the U.S. pullout from Afghanistan, significantly after a detailed buddy, Employees Sgt. Ryan Knauss, died in a suicide bombing at Kabul.

“So, I am simply attempting to do all the pieces I can to verify I will help others not undergo what I went by means of,” he mentioned Saturday throughout an interview performed by means of a messaging platform.

RELATED: American killed combating alongside Ukrainian forces in Ukraine, household says

A former U.S. Marine who died final week was believed to be the primary American citizen killed whereas combating in Ukraine. Willy Joseph Cancel, 22, died Monday whereas working for a army contracting firm that despatched him to Ukraine, his mom, Rebecca Cabrera, advised CNN.

An undetermined variety of different Individuals – many with army backgrounds – are regarded as within the nation battling Russian forces beside each Ukrainians and volunteers from different international locations though U.S. forces aren’t instantly concerned in combating apart from sending army materiel, humanitarian support and cash.

Russia’s invasion has given Ukraine’s embassy in Washington the duty of fielding inquiries from hundreds of Individuals who need to assist in the battle, and Ukraine is utilizing the web to recruit volunteers for a overseas power, the Worldwide Legion of Protection of Ukraine.

“Anybody who needs to hitch the protection of safety in Europe and the world can come and stand aspect by aspect with the Ukrainians towards the invaders of the twenty first century,” President President Volodymyr Zelenskyy mentioned in a recruitment pitch.

Texan Anja Osmon, who did excursions in Iraq and Afghanistan whereas serving within the U.S. Military from 2009 by means of 2015, mentioned she went to Ukraine on her personal. A medic, she mentioned she arrived in Ukraine on March 20 and lived within the woods with different members of the Worldwide Legion earlier than a brand new commander despatched her away as a result of he did not need feminine fighters.

Osmon, 30, mentioned her mom needs her house earlier than September. However for now she’s anxious to get out of the resort the place she is staying in Lviv and catch on with one other combating power nearer the motion.

“I can not flip away from injustice,” she mentioned. “Nobody ought to be scared.”

U.S. Marine veteran Eddy Etue mentioned he stop his job within the gig financial system, discovered a buddy in Colorado to look at his cat and gave up his house 4 blocks from the seaside in San Diego, California, to assist out in Ukraine, the place he is been about two weeks. He first labored with an support group however now’s coaching with the Worldwide Legion.

Etue, 36, mentioned he merely could not keep house. “It is simply the appropriate factor to do,” mentioned Etue, who financed the journey by means of an internet fundraising marketing campaign.

Etue’s household historical past pulled him towards Ukraine. He mentioned his grandparents left Hungary with nothing however their 4 kids and garments after the 1956 revolution, which was put down by Soviet forces that killed or wounded hundreds.

“What’s taking place right here will have an effect on not solely the people who find themselves experiencing it however their kids and grandchildren as properly,” he mentioned. “I do know that from private expertise.”

Jozefowicz, the previous Chicago cop, says there are literally thousands of American and different volunteers in Ukraine. A number of organizations are working within the nation, and Jozefowicz mentioned his group alone has positioned scores of volunteers in positions all around the nation, with about 40 of these being fight jobs.

“We don’t facilitate a civilian going into any direct-action position. We solely information and join prior army volunteers,” he mentioned.

However there’s loads of different work to do. Teams of volunteers are getting medical and meals provides to individuals within the nation of 44 million individuals, he mentioned, and others are working with refugees and others who’ve needed to flee their houses.

“The nearer I bought into Ukraine and the extra time I spent in Ukraine, the extra voids I discovered that wanted to be crammed to maximise my teams volunteer efforts,” he mentioned.

RELATED: Harrison Jozefowicz talked to ABC’s Martha Raddatz

Osmon, who mentioned she’s been involved with Jozefowicz’s group, mentioned she provided troops with antibiotics and anti inflammatory medicines after days within the woods.

“Most everybody had air raid fever from hiding within the trenches within the snow and chilly air,” she mentioned. “Bronchitis was ravaging us.”

Etue mentioned he bought a really feel for the nation after making a 24-hour spherical journey with one other volunteer to select up a automobile in Odessa. He mentioned he is been impressed with the standard of individuals serving within the Worldwide Legion since Ukrainians have completed a very good job of removing the inexperienced and “battle vacationers” who haven’t got a lot to supply a army unit.

“I feel they’re doing amazingly properly given that they are at battle with one of many largest standing armies on the earth,” he mentioned.

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