SALT LAKE CITY — Right now Americans across the country say they will stand up for freedom on Ukrainian soil to resist the Russian invasion, even if it costs them their own lives.
Jonathan Freedman is the honorary consul for Ukraine in Utah, a position that helps Ukrainians in the States with legal issues and business development but lately he is fielding emails from US citizens.
“They want to travel to Poland, cross the border, take up arms in defense of Ukraine,” Freedman explained.
Shane Porritt is from West Jordan Utah. He has 2 young boys, a loving wife and works as a digital printer. Since the war started in Ukraine he wears a yellow arm band as a constant reminder of the brutal fighting happening and the innocent lives lost.
He says he is going through the process to head into battle, and help humanity against the images plastered all over national headlines.
“You see what people are going through. There are missiles going into children's schools, hospitals, their homes. It isn't military on military, it's a man that is now putting his military towards civilians,” Porrit said.
David Splan, 62, a former Marine, who now spends his time in Sedona, Arizona, also wants to go to Europe in Ukraines defense saying he may be on the older side but he is physically fit and willing to fill any job that is needed.
Idaho resident Marcus Golder, who is 51 years old, recently overcame what was thought to be a terminal illness, and thinks going to join Ukrainian forces is standing up to a bully, as he refers to Russia saying, “right now is a game changer for what’s going to happen in our world.”
While passionate, Americans wanting to go into battle are taking a serious risk, just this week the US State Department came out with a statement urging Americans to not become foreign fighters as it compromises not only personal safety but national security.
Despite the warnings, those who want to join what’s been officially called The Foreign Legion of Territorial Defense of Ukraine must complete and application and submit it to the embassy, complete a phone interview, be between the ages if 18 and 60 with a valid US passport and have the resources to purchase their own airfare to Poland where they will be assigned Ukrainian fatigues, a weapon, and become part of the Ukranian forces.