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Matthew Parker, a U.S. Military veteran of 20 years, is heading to Ukraine to help the nation’s navy in any capability he can in its battle towards Russian navy forces.
Parker, who owns a protecting providers coaching agency referred to as Unbiased Safety Advisors, LLC, plans to fly into Poland inside the subsequent few days and coordinate together with his contacts there to assist him cross the border into Ukraine.
“I don’t like what’s happening on the ground over there. And I’ve seen what happens when civilians are caught in the middle of a war, and I found that the Russians have a tendency — when they can’t win — to basically burn bridges,” Parker informed Every day Publish Digital.
The 50-something father of 4 grownup youngsters added that he had grow to be near a Ukrainian soldier who served below him for a couple of yr and a half when he was within the Military. That soldier nonetheless has household in Ukraine, together with a sister with disabilities, which Parker mentioned is a part of the inspiration behind his determination to supply his help there.
Parker had plans to go away a couple of week in the past however delayed his departure after receiving an inflow of inquiries from different American and overseas volunteers — a lot of whom have navy or first-responder backgrounds — who need his assist to get to Ukraine.
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Some volunteers are younger males who’ve been out of the navy for 2 to 10 years, Parker mentioned.
“When you’ve been to Iraq or Afghanistan, or like me, you’ve been to Bosnia, and you see the carnage and tragedy of war, you don’t turn that off,” he defined.
“Now, before some … person says, ‘Oh, that’s PTSD.’ No, it’s not PTSD. That’s called memory. And when you see women and children hungry, their homes destroyed — when you stand on the edge of a mass grave and look down … it’s the same anger. It’s the same ignorance. It’s the same lack of human compassion that the Russians are showing right now as they bomb these cities. As they bomb hospitals.”
His firm does government and diplomatic safety work, so Parker has expertise deploying coaching groups and brokers to international locations all over the world, as FOX 5 Atlanta first reported.
“So I took that experience and I put these young men together and said, ‘Listen, you need a will, an attorney. If you own something it needs to go into storage. You can’t just leave your car in the airport,” Parker defined.
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He is additionally serving to volunteers collect correct tools for chilly and snowy climate situations in Ukraine and make contact with the Worldwide Legion of Territorial Protection of Ukraine to tell them when volunteers are arriving and with what abilities.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy created the Worldwide Legion days after Russia invaded on Feb. 24 and lifted visa restrictions for overseas volunteers.
“Anyone who wants to join the defense of Ukraine, Europe and the world can come and fight side by side with the Ukrainians against the Russian war criminals,” a Feb. 27 press release from his workplace states.
Parker has contacts in Poland and Ukraine who provide volunteers rides from the airport, a spot to remain for the night time, and rides throughout the Ukraine border. As soon as inside Ukraine, volunteers test in with the Worldwide Legion and hope to be assigned to particular teams based mostly on talent units.
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“Now, they can totally disregard everything [a volunteer] gets there. You know, he could be a highly trained electronics repairman. They could hand him a rifle and say, ‘Go guard a bridge,'” Parker mentioned. “This is so new, and they’re under such pressure. The fact that they are able to stand the legion up at all is amazing.”
Parker says his 4 youngsters weren’t stunned when he knowledgeable them of his plans.
“The boys were used to me being in Iraq, and the fact that this is not Iraq and it’s not the Army sending me … They all said the same thing. One: ‘We knew you were going to do it,’ but, two, ‘We trust you,’” he mentioned.
Ukraine has been below assault for 15 days. An estimated 2.3 million individuals have fled Ukraine to date, in line with the U.N. Excessive Commissioner for Refugees.
The Workplace of the U.N. Excessive Commissioner for Human Rights estimates that 549 Ukrainians have been killed as of Thursday, and practically a thousand others have been injured since Russia started invading on Feb. 24.