A British Army veteran has delivered a truckload of essential aid to war-torn Ukraine.
Jake Porter, who served 24 years in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME), arrived with other volunteers after traveling through Europe.
He said the aid delivery contained warm clothes for adults and children, food, medicine and unwanted first aid kits, adding that they had ‘everything’ those displaced by the war might need need to survive.
Unlike many volunteers who crossed the continent with aid shipments, Mr. Porter delivered his relief shipment directly to Ukraine, risking danger by crossing a war zone.
Currently, the UK government’s overseas travel advice for Ukraine warns there is a ‘real risk to life’, advising UK nationals not to travel there and to ‘leave the country immediately’ .
The veteran said that once he was in Ukraine, there were “a lot more soldiers around.”
He said: “We saw a helicopter flying earlier. The soldiers seem quite friendly.
“I spoke to them. I even managed to snatch a badge from them.
“They seem to be pretty happy, or as happy as they could be, I guess. But then again, they’re on the western border, not the east,” he added.
When asked why he had volunteered to join the aid effort, risking his own safety by entering Ukraine, Mr Porter was candid about the sense of satisfaction, but said: “I don’t do it for that.”
The former REME vehicle mechanic recalls an incident a few years ago while volunteering in Hungary, when he encountered children in a kindergarten singing to him and other visitors British.
It was partly for this reason that he felt compelled to help Ukrainians, he said.
“It made the hairs on your neck stand up.”