Harrison Josephovich quit his job as a police officer in Chicago and went abroad shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine. An army veteran, he said he could not help but join the American volunteers seeking to help the Ukrainians fight them.
Jozefowicz now heads a group called Task Force Yankee, which he said has put more than 190 volunteers into combat slots and other roles while providing nearly 15,000 first-aid kits, helping move more than 80 families and helping deliver dozens of pallets of food and medical supplies. To the southern and eastern fronts from war.
It is difficult and dangerous work. But Josefovich said he felt helpless watching from the United States last year during the American withdrawal from Afghanistan, especially after a close friend, the cast. Sgt. Ryan KnaussHe was killed in a suicide bombing in Kabul.
“So, I’m just trying to do everything I can to make sure I can help other people not go through what I’ve been through,” he said Saturday during an interview conducted through the messaging platform.
A former US Marine who died last week is believed to be the first US citizen to be killed while fighting in Ukraine. His mother, Rebecca Cabrera, told CNN that Willie Joseph Cancel, 22, died on Monday while working for a military contracting company that sent him to Ukraine.
An unspecified number of other Americans – many of them with military backgrounds – are believed to be in the country fighting Russian forces alongside both Ukrainians and volunteers from other countries, although US forces are not directly involved in the fighting except for the dispatch of military hardware, humanitarian aid and aid. humanity. Capital.
The Russian invasion has given Ukraine’s embassy in Washington the task of answering inquiries from thousands of Americans who want to help in the fight, and Ukraine uses the Internet to recruit volunteers for a foreign power, International Defense Corps of Ukraine.
“Anyone who wants to join the defense of security in Europe and the world can come and stand shoulder to shoulder with the Ukrainians against the invaders of the 21st century,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a recruitment speech.
Texan Anja Osmon, who toured Iraq and Afghanistan while serving in the US Army from 2009 until 2015, said she went to Ukraine alone. A doctor said she arrived in Ukraine on March 20 and lived in the woods with other members of the International Corps before a new commander sent her away because he didn’t want fighters.
Asmoun, 30, said her mother wanted her home before September. But for now, she is eager to get out of the hotel where she is staying in Lviv and join another fighting force near the battle.
“I can’t get away from injustice,” she said. “No one should be afraid.”
U.S. Marine Corps veteran Eddie Ito said he quit his job in the temporary job economy, found a friend in Colorado to watch his cat and gave up his home four blocks from the beach in San Diego, California, to help in Ukraine, where he was. Two weeks. He initially worked with an aid organization but is now training with the International Corps.
Itoi, 36, said he simply couldn’t stay home. “It’s the right thing to do,” said Ito, who funded the trip through an online fundraiser.
The history of the Ito family pushed him towards Ukraine. He said that his grandparents left Hungary with their four children and their clothes after the 1956 revolution that was toppled by Soviet forces, killing and wounding thousands.
“What is happening here will affect not only the people who suffer from it, but also their children and grandchildren,” he said. “I know this from my personal experience.”
Josefovich, the former Chicago policeman, says there are thousands of American and other volunteers in Ukraine. Multiple organizations operate in the country, and Jozefowicz said his group alone has put dozens of volunteers into positions across the country, 40 of whom work in combat jobs.
We do not make it easier for civilians to take any direct role. We only direct and deliver ex-military volunteers.
But there is a lot more work to be done. He said volunteer groups are getting medical and food supplies to people in the country of 44 million, and others are working with refugees and others forced to flee their homes.
“The closer I got to Ukraine and the more time I spent in Ukraine, the more blanks I found to fill in to maximize the volunteer efforts of my groups,” he said.
Osmon, who said she was in contact with Josefovich’s group, said she supplied the troops with antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs after days in the woods.
“Most of the people caught air-raid fever from hiding in trenches in the snow and cold air,” she said. “Bronchiectasis was ravaging us.”
Ito said he got a feel for the country after making a 24-hour round trip with another volunteer to pick up a car in Odessa. He said he was impressed by the quality of the people serving in the International Corps because the Ukrainians did a good job of getting rid of the inexperienced and “war tourists” who had little to offer a military unit.
“I think they are doing an amazingly good job considering they are at war with one of the largest standing armies in the world,” he said.