“It’s very sad,” Biden told reporters at the White House, where he was hosting a meeting of federal inspectors general. “He left a little boy behind.”
Members of the Cancel family confirmed to CNN that the cancellation of the fighting on the side of Ukrainian forces was cancelled. Cancel’s mother, Rebecca Cabrera, told CNN that the 22-year-old was working with a private military contracting company when he was killed on April 25. The company sent him to Ukraine, and he was getting paid while he was fighting there.
Cancellation served in the US Marine Corps from December 2017 through November 2021, according to Navy spokesman Major Jim Stinger.
Cabrera said her son signed up for a private military contracting company in addition to his full-time job as a corrections officer in Tennessee shortly before the outbreak of war in Ukraine at the end of February. His mother said that when the war broke out, the company was looking for contractors to fight in Ukraine and Cancel agreed to leave.
“He wanted to go because he believed in what Ukraine was fighting for, and he wanted to be a part of it to contain it there, so he didn’t come here, and maybe our American soldiers wouldn’t have to be involved in that,” Cabrera told CNN in a phone interview.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki extended his condolences Friday to Cancel’s family, saying the US government had not officially confirmed his death and warning Americans not to travel to Ukraine for any reason.
Asked by CNN’s MJ Lee about Cancellation’s death, Psaki said during the White House press conference, “Well, first of all, our hearts go out to his family and loved ones. … We have no official confirmation, although we I’ve seen the reports, but we haven’t done that formal process through the government, so I can’t talk to other details about it other than that.”
Then she warned Americans against traveling to Ukraine to take up arms.
“We know that Americans are looking for ways to help and that reports about this individual indicate that he is a veteran,” she said. “I think he had a child, and he certainly seems like a very excited young man. We know that people want to help, but we encourage Americans to find other ways to do that…instead of traveling to Ukraine to fight.”
“It’s an active war zone. We know Americans are in great danger, but we certainly know the family is in mourning. The wife is in mourning and our hearts are with them,” she continued.
Psaki also reiterated that the administration’s advice “was that Americans not travel to Ukraine for any reason.”
Military service abolition
Cancellation joined the Marines on December 25, 2017, and left service on November 2, 2021, according to Stenger, a Marine Corps spokesperson.
He has received numerous awards during his service, including the National Defense Service Medal, Naval Services Publication Ribbon, the Korea Defense Service Medal, and the Global War on Terrorism Medal, and his service record shows.
He had no spread. His last assignment in the United States Marine Corps was at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
A military judge found the order rescinded for violating a statutory public order in a special military court at the Marine Corps base at Camp Lejeune on August 31, 2020.
The military judge ruled the revocation of 154 days of confinement, reduction to the rank of E-1, and a discharge of US Marines, according to Stinger. It is not clear what legal public order the revocation violated.
This story has been updated with additional details.
CNN’s Clarissa Ward contributed to this report.