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Winning the War from the Rearguard

By: Shannon Taft


   Tomorrow’s headline may not read: “John Doe from Australia single-handedly defeats the Russians!” –however, the air raid alert tonight will end with “All clear. The oppressors have been repulsed.”  All because the brave soldiers at their anti-aircraft posts were alert, thanks to the wholesome meal prepared by John Doe from Australia.

   And so a unique community of gallant people from around the globe descend on the volunteer hubs in Ukraine to support the victory. Their commitment ranges from a few days to….years. Their homes are as close as Lviv itself–to as far away as Australia and The Philippines. In their hometowns, they are mechanical engineers and attorneys, bartenders and teachers, software developers and accountants. Their lifestyles are single parents, corporate leaders, self-made entrepreneurs, students….Yet their hearts overflow with one common goal that proves humans world-wide share the same desires of peace, safety and support.  They have left the guarantees of their secure worlds to help lift the burden of the Ukrainians battling their oppressors. And therein lies the richness and singular meaning in life: to find a burden too heavy for any one person to carry–and collectively shrugging it off on the well-worn path forward to victory.

   A data analyst from Chicago spent a week of his work vacation allotment to prep frontline meals. He sat next to me on a stack of pallets and showed me the most efficient way to julienne carrots. A school-teacher from Moldova spent a 4-day holiday to travel by bus to Lviv and help make camo nets. She showed me the most effective method to complete a cloth netting frame. A Danish Airforce commander came out of retirement to operate drones on the frontline–he taught me the impact of this tech in gathering intelligence. A former US Navy servicemember put himself through EOD training and Combat Medic certification to contribute to victory–he showed me the quickest way to apply a tourniquet. Countless examples of ordinary humans making selfless contributions in this war, now flood the Ukrainian theater.


    And this is why we will win. The magnanimity of the volunteer community breathes life to a force that the Russian aggressors can’t overpower. There is a dominating energy that comes from being a part of such a tightly-knit fabric of the human spirit. The support for you to get involved is available. The rewards in your life from contributing are guaranteed. The work is ready for you. What’s stopping you from joining us in the best adventure of your life? 


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