‘People are dying’: US veteran helps Ukrainian troops
Apr 26, 2022, 4:52 PM | Updated: Jun 20, 2022, 1:59 pm
SALT LAKE CITY— A US Marine veteran from Kaysville has been in Ukraine on a humanitarian mission for nearly two months. He also recently helped Ukrainian troops prepare for battle, and is impressed with their skills.
When Quan Nguyen first arrived in Ukraine, he was focused only on providing humanitarian aid raised with his wife and fellow veterans through TF824.org. But, because of the dire circumstances for the Ukrainians, he decided to work with troops, too.
“In order to stop the killing of innocent Ukrainians, Ukraine has to win, period,” Nguyen said today in a video call from Ukraine.
For that reason, Quan he recently helped train Ukrainian troops headed to defend the eastern front against the Russians. In the course of his humanitarian work, the Ukrainians discovered that Nguyen’s experience as a Marine veteran could be helpful, and he was asked to assess some of their tactics, and he agreed.
“People are still dying. So, if there’s anything that I could do while still maintaining my mission to help, then I will,” the marine veteran said.
He was asked to work with a unit of soldiers, assess their training and tactics, and give suggestions.
“I walked away basically telling them there’s no advice for me to give to you,” he said. “Minus the language barrier, I thought I was in some training back in the US.”
Their tactics are sound, he said, as long as they have the weapons systems they need. The Ukrainians are also using weapons seized from the Russians. Ukrainian mechanics recently repaired tanks and other weapons because they are so badly needed.
“The consequences are life and death,” Nguyen said. “This isn’t a video game where you can reset, get an extra life. This is serious business. But yeah, they are headed off to war. They’re headed to the eastern front.”
TF824.org is their humanitarian organization. It stands for Task Force 824.
August 24 is Ukrainian Independence Day.