Besides the medical training Task Force Yankee provides to the Ukrainian Security Forces, we recently were able to help refugees.
By the end of July 2022, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy urged civilians to evacuate the frontline Donetsk region. Our organization quickly decided to assist the local Ukrainian NGO. So we headed for Zaporizhzhia. After a very long drive from Lviv, we arrived at the location, where daily between 1000 and 2000 refugees were arriving, all day long.
We were welcomed by Natalya Ardalyanova and her very committed team. Since the beginning of the war, they had been present at the intake center to take care, register and assist the thousands of refugees arriving.
We did not come empty handed and were able to give a good cargo of humanitarian goods to her organization. We discussed how we could help and especially how we could assist in evacuating people from Zaporizhzhia.
The next day, we met again and had the very difficult and emotional task to select people to come back with us to Lviv. Our focus was on mothers and children, which were more then present.
So we met with Julia and her son and daughter. It clicked immediately and very quickly we agreed on taking them back to Lviv. The journey back to Western Ukraine took us two days, given the fact that the family had been more then a week on foot, so they were literally exhausted.
Two days later, after an overnight stay in Vinnytsia, we finally arrived in Lviv at our operational base. Julia and her children stayed for two days and we were able to help in getting to Poland.
Three people were able to be safe. Many more would follow. Our mission continues to help Ukraine!
Patrick Brion, text and photos