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Ukraine volunteer funds own efforts

By C.J. Vetter

KYLE –  Local Greg Miller continues to give support and medical training to others in Ukraine, even as he moves closer to the front lines. However, as the conflict continues, the need for supplies and aid has not decreased as Russia and Ukraine enter a war of attrition. 

Miller, a retired special forces operative, will soon be entering the ‘yellow-zone’, which is between a safe area such as Kyiv and the front lines, where active engagements are taking place. Most of his time spent in Ukraine has been dedicated to helping train and teach soldiers medical operations or delivering supplies. 

“Due to the nature of the conflict, it’s all a guessing game. It’s becoming a war of attrition,” Miller said. “They’re just trying to see who can out last the other.” 

However, as the war continues and media attention moves elsewhere, the need for supplies continues to grow. While Miller has been given an area to sleep and rest, as well as transportation, he is using his own finances to purchase food and supplies for himself and others. 

“Go to your local hospitals, talk to your med supply stores, anything to get people to donate these items,” Miller said. “I’ve spent over $1,000 in tourniquets.”

He also helped manufacture tourniquets within Ukraine itself to supply soldiers on the front line, even while numerous rockets and missile strikes have targeted Kyiv. He states that while the Ukrainian people will not settle until they’ve reclaimed all their land, Miller says it is unlikely due to global politics.

“One of my friends runs refugees through his house, and he has helped over 103 already. They can stay as long as they like, so long as they can help run the house. If they don’t wind up here, they wind up on an air mattress in a church for three [to]four months [until]  they find a suitable place to live,” Miller said. “They lived in a modern city with modern conveniences, went to work every day, [rode]the bus or [drove]a car. . It’s exactly the same. Then they’re displaced. So, just imagine you have a good job and then the next day, you’re on the street with no chance of getting back, because your house is no longer there.” 

Miller still plans to return on or before July 4, but is now actively seeking employment within Ukraine, as he also plans to return a month later. Meanwhile, he claims that the Ukrainian people still need more artillery alongside specialty medical equipment such as nasopharyngeal airways and chest seals. He says he is looking forward to seeing his family again, but does not miss the news. 

“The news I see in the U.S. [is]sickening. You’ve got shootings in the schools and people killing their doctors because of their pain in surgeries,” Miller said. “We’re becoming the most violent country in the world.” 

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