Training and recruiting in the Ukrainian military are on the increase.
In Vietnam, the trainers were active-duty military personnel supervised by the Pentagon; in Ukraine, they are civilian volunteers financed by contributions. Perry Blackburn Jr., a former lieutenant colonel in the Army Special Forces, served 34 years in Iraq and Afghanistan. Volunteers teach the Ukrainian troops to combat the Russians more effectively and dissuade future assaults. Russia claims it would treat voluntary combatants as mercenaries and kill them if caught.
The United States opposes participation in the war among its citizens. An assistance organization reports that at least 21 Americans have been injured in action since the beginning of the conflict. The Defense Department asserts that it has no affiliation with any of these organizations and discourages travel to Ukraine. “I knew I could have a multiplicative impact if I could instruct the trigger pullers.” Said an American Volunteer.