“So, I’m simply attempting to do the whole lot I can to ensure I might help others not undergo what I went by means of,” he mentioned Saturday throughout an interview carried out by means of a messaging platform.

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

An undetermined variety of different Individuals — many with navy backgrounds — are regarded as within the nation battling Russian forces beside each Ukrainians and volunteers from different international locations regardless that U.S. forces aren’t straight concerned in preventing other than sending navy materiel, humanitarian support and cash.

Russia’s invasion has given Ukraine’s embassy in Washington the duty of fielding inquiries from 1000’s of Individuals who need to assist in the battle, and Ukraine is utilizing the web to recruit volunteers for a international pressure, the International Legion of Defense of Ukraine.

“Anybody who needs to affix the protection of safety in Europe and the world can come and stand facet by facet with the Ukrainians in opposition to 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 didn’t 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 preventing pressure nearer the motion.

“I can’t flip away from injustice,” she mentioned. “Nobody needs to be scared.”

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

Etue, 36, mentioned he merely couldn’t keep house. “It’s simply the precise 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 youngsters and garments after the 1956 revolution, which was put down by Soviet forces that killed or wounded 1000’s.

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

Jozefowicz, the previous Chicago cop, says there are millions 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 everywhere in the nation, with about 40 of these being fight jobs.

“We don’t facilitate a civilian going into any direct-action function. We solely information and join prior navy 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 properties.

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

Osmon, who mentioned she’s been in touch with Jozefowicz’s group, mentioned she equipped troops with antibiotics and anti inflammatory drugs 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 obtained a really feel for the nation after making a 24-hour spherical journey with one other volunteer to select up a car in Odessa. He mentioned he’s been impressed with the standard of individuals serving within the Worldwide Legion since Ukrainians have accomplished an excellent job of hunting down the inexperienced and “struggle vacationers” who don’t have a lot to supply a navy unit.

“I feel they’re doing amazingly properly on condition that they’re at struggle with one of many largest standing armies on the planet,” he mentioned.