(NewsNation Now) – Bryson Woolsey quit his job as a cook in Canada to volunteer as a member of the Ukrainian military.
In an exclusive interview with NewsNation’s Marni Hughes, Woolsey explains why he decided to put his life on hold to join a newly formed “international legion” created by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Why do you do that?
“I mean, it’s just that it’s hard to watch what’s going on there. I had the ability to help, so I want to go help. And it’s not just me. I’ve had 30, 40 people contacted since yesterday, Canadians and Americans. So there are quite a few people who really, really want to defend what’s going on. »
You have no military experience, so how do you prepare?
“I have been contacted by veterans who will give me training before leaving. Lots of people have reached out with advice, and it’s been really good so far. There is a lot of information from veterans who are already there and going there. People (are) really helping out.
This must have been very difficult news for your family.
Of course, they were upset, but they are also very supportive. Probably any reaction a family would have to someone entering a war zone. I can understand that they are upset, but I also appreciate their support. It is important.”
Deciding to go is one thing, but getting there is another. Talk it over.
” It’s a lot of work. Everyone has to somehow get there on their own with their own funds. So it’s a theft, supplies, not just first aid kits. Obviously, no weapons. It’s quite a process.
Do you receive support from the Ukrainian Embassy? How do they react to you and others who choose to volunteer?
“I actually just got an email from them, just before I jumped in here. But I saw a report a while ago saying they’re really touched by the reaction people have had here. and in Europe. They are grateful.
What is your plan once you arrive in Ukraine?
“Right now, once I’m done with this process with the embassy, I fly over there, cross the border and wherever they need me. They’ll know better than me where I’d be best. placed to go in. So I just leave it open, and whatever they put me in, I’ll be ready for it.
What troubles you most, Bryson, about what you and I and everyone at home see on our screens day in and day out??
“I mean, I saw some pretty graphic images. There are videos of their children being resuscitated in ambulances and civilians maimed by explosives. It’s pretty brutal. It’s hard to watch and it’s sad. Living in the kind of country I can live in, Canada… is pretty cushy. And I feel like, you know, it’s not fair to sit and watch what happens. These people are incredibly brave and stand up for their freedom. (We should) offer as much support as possible.
IIt’s a reminder we all take a lot for granted. You are also incredibly brave. Are you scarred?
“Oh, yeah, I think anyone who isn’t might not be going for the right reasons. But yeah, I’m a little scared for sure. But not enough to stop me from going, and like I said, there’s also tons of other people going there too. That’s a lot of people who don’t like what’s going to feel called to go and help. That’s enough incredible.