Mission Archangel for Ukraine
Organized by: Mike Wilson
My mission as a US Marine veteran is to equip our young Ukrainian Marines for battle. There is an aggressor that came in and invaded a peaceful country. Ukraine has not had any conflicts to deal with since they were liberated from communism back in 1991. This has left them without a real military group. No formal training has been done prior to the Russian invasion. When I was there in March and April this year, I started a training program in marksmanship and tactical warfare. The course was a huge success and now I have been invited back to continue this training. As a volunteer, this allows me to bypass all the red tape. I am raising funds to support my expenses, travel, room and board and to bring much needed material and supplies. My goal this time is to make sure every rifle is sighted in, every Marine is trained in marksmanship and in addition, I will be holding leadership courses for our NCOs and Officers. I have always said, many hands makes small work and it's going to take the support of many to win this war and see Ukraine free from oppression. Slava Ukraini
I fell in love with Ukraine about 9 years ago. Being introduced by a close friend who just moved to the US from Ukraine. She showed me her country and culture and then gave me books to read. Like most Americans, I thought Ukraine was a part of Russia and didn't know much more than that. Of course during communism, Ukraine along with many other east European countries were too. That was my knowledge. As a Marine during the cold war and a young boy during the missile crisis, I didn't have a fond spot in my heart for Russia. I was so glad to learn something totally different. Reading about the history, culture, food and personalities of Ukraine, I saw a larger image of myself growing up. Ukraine throughout history has always been a peaceful country. Because of her rich soil and land, other nations would invade her. Ukraine existed hundreds of years before Russia and was Christened in 988 AD. That is the mark of a civilizised country and set out missionaries to go throughout all slavic and asian countries. Because she was a peaceful nation, many other countries would come in to steal and take lands. She would succumb for a season, putting up with poor treatment by her conquerors until she had enough. A deliverer would rise up and create a rebellion until she was free again. Her soil and wealth were highly coveted, so other nations would come in continually and invade. Ukraines history is marred with wars and the threat of wars. I call these other countries, including Russia, bullies. This is the story of my life growing up. After becoming a Marine and gaining some maturity, I really hated bullies. If I saw an incident involving anyone being out numbered or just being bullied, I stepped in. The memory was way to fresh and I couldn't allow it to happen to anyone else. Ukraine's culture is rich with traditions, giving, and helping one another. The women are absolutely beautiful and strong character. The heart of a Ukrainian is large and full of hope. From the moment I was introduced I fell in love with Ukraine and each day even more. I believe you will too if you don't already know her. November 2013 changed everything for me. At first it seemed like the people were going to receive what they dreamed for, then the shootings began. My heart fell and was broken. I could see immediately who was behind this... Putin. All of 2014 was so frustrating. Men and civilians were dying needlessly. When I watched a video of some of the fighting, my heart fell even further. I had no idea how untrained our men were. Oh was I fit to be tied. Ukraine needed help and fast. The US and EU were refusing to help Ukraine militarily. An opportunity came up for me to indroduce a program in training the soldiers. I took that opportunity as a volunteer. I was so excited, now I can get involved and help a country that needed help so desperately... not just any country but my loving peaceful Ukraine. This form of training has already had huge success and results. The 173rd Airborne got there two months ago with about 200 men to train Ukraine's National Guard. They arrived at the time I finished my first training course there. I am working with Marine Corps Ukraine. Just like the US Marines, Ukraine's Marines get the left overs in equipment, housing, and chow halls, even the rifle range is subpar to any around the world. I am so proud and honored to work with them and help them become the elite of the armed forces of Ukraine. These are the same Marines that were stationed on Crimea when Putin took over. They lost their base, homes and families were broken up. Over half of them did not come back to Ukraine because they didn't want to lose houses and family. The ones that left Crimea do not hold it against the ones who stayed. These mens hearts are just huge. They have become my sons and am so glad for the opportunity to go back. Your help and donations goes directly to helping save lives and better Ukraine's Marines. Together, let's make them the best.