SALT LAKE CITY — A United States Marine from Utah is in Ukraine on a humanitarian mission to help those fleeing the Russian invasion.
Quan Nguyen said he was profoundly moved to take on this mission because he can relate to what most of these refugees are going through.
He himself spent time in a refugee camp when his family fled Vietnam in the 1970s.
He said memories like that never leave you.
His family eventually settled in the U.S. and Quan wound up serving his country as a U.S. Marine, completing several combat tours in Afghanistan.
But as the drums of war sounded in Ukraine, Nguyên started helping a friend who had been living there for a decade, who himself was trying to help refugees.
Then Nguyen started a nonprofit called Task Force 824, working with other Utahns to do what they can to help Ukrainians who desperately need it.
“What kind of impact can we have? I have done the picking up of a weapon," said Nguyen. "But I feel that, at this point in my life I can make a bigger impact by working on the humanitarian side. I’ve got those logistical skills that I want to put to use.”
He said most of his daily tasks are pretty routine and mundane. Preparing meals, washing clothes, dispersing supplies.
Nguyen said he knows he can’t help everyone but he and his group are doing what they can to help whomever they can however they can.
Task Force 824 is in reference to August 24, which is Ukrainian Independence Day.
Nguyen said money is the best way to help this effort and you can Venmo donations to TF824 or online at TF824.org