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  • Writer's picturebruce yu

The Story of A Ukrainian Veteran

Updated: Jul 31, 2023

I accidentally started talking to a military veteran who lost his child in the war in early April. Below is our conversation (B is Bruce,myself; M is Maksymvk, the father from Ukraine):

  • M: Thanks a lot (for sharing my story). I am a military veteran. Do not worry, you are an excellent person.

  • B: Sir are you going to join the war?

  • M: Yes, later in 2 or 3 weeks.

  • B: Oh I don't believe in god, but I still want god to bless you sir.

  • M: Thanks, I believe in myself.

  • B: Please make sure you will return. I cannot imagine losing my dad, so can't your children.

  • M: I live in my country. I have 3 children, and I have to protect them.

  • B: I am impressed by you sir, you are a brave man (as you are retired, but you still fight for your country and your children). A man gotta do what he has to do, good luck sir!

  • M:: Thanks, and all the best for you too!


He has shared his son's story with me, too. His son is a hockey player who went on his trip to play hockey competitions 2 days before the Russians invaded. He lost contact with his son, and he wrote me this letter to share his story:


Hi there,


I am a father of one Ukrainian hockey boy from Ukrainian Kharkiv Junior team HC Sdyusshor’07 U16.


A day before the invasion of our home country, our team has started its trip to Debrecen in Hungary for a regulator hockey championship. Due to the war conflict children are unable to return to Ukraine , and followed the tournament have been welcomed and are keeping safe in Sanok, Poland. They stuck far from home and nobody knows when they come back to Ukraine, where their families stay in bunkers in Kharkiv trying to keep safe and stay alive.


20 boys and two coaches went in 2 day regular tournament and nobody could imagine that this trip will be on one of way … We are parents of these boys could not imagine that we will not see our children so long and we have no idea when we meet them again in home country, because all Ukraine is in fire and our native city Kharkiv is in ruins.


Not so far, they were just children, junior hockey players who used to go to school, play hockey and be naughty while war did not cover their native city Kharkiv and all home country Ukraine.


It came suddenly in the morning of 24th of Feb, with terrible shelling, which shared life “before” and “after.”


But they are still those Kharkiv boys, junior hockey players who love playing hockey; they just become adults beyond their age…


But we see in them our future strong and free-spirited Ukrainian nation, which is borning now through the fire.


Our children - our future! We believe in Peace and Freedom.


It was people like him who constantly motivate me to encourage people to stand out and share what is happening in the current world. Together, we will remember this history and let more people be aware of this tragedy.


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