Marine and Air Force Reserve veteran David Baturin, a 26-year-old born in Ukraine but raised in Ohio, was killed in Ukraine on October 7, 2023, during an “enemy bombing attack.” His motivation to protect Ukrainian children following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was a driving force in his decision to be in Ukraine. Baturin’s heroic sacrifice was praised in an online tribute, and he had a military background, having served in both the Marines and the Air Force Reserve.
- David Baturin’s Motivation: Baturin, a Marine and Air Force Reserve veteran, felt a deep obligation to protect Ukrainian children and innocent people in Ukraine following Russia’s invasion. This sense of duty led him to Ukraine.
- Military Background: Baturin enlisted in the Marines in December 2019, where he became an Air Traffic Controller Trainee and earned military awards. He later served in the Air Force Reserve, reaching the rank of senior airman.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Baturin’s death was described as a “heroic sacrifice” driven by love and a calling of the heart. His legacy was celebrated for inspiring love and courage.
- Other Veterans in Ukraine: More than 30 U.S. military veterans, including Marine veterans like Ian Tortorici, Lance Lawrence, and Joel David Beal, have died in Ukraine since February 2022.
- Large Ukrainian Congregation: Baturin’s funeral was held at Grace Evangelical Church, which had a large Ukrainian congregation, reflecting his strong connection to Ukraine and its people.