Military Times: American vets for Ukraine launch group for sustained support

Leaders from American Veterans for Ukraine, Ukraine House, the Embassy of Ukraine and others pose for a photo during a launch event at Ukraine House in Washington, D.C., May 23, 2024. (Jonathan Lehrfeld/Military Times)

By Jonathan Lehrfeld

Katherine Semenyuk gave birth to her fifth child in a bomb shelter in Lutsk, Ukraine, the day that Russia began its invasion of her country in February 2022.

“We had six missiles flying approximately at 6 in the morning, flying and landing right like above our heads,” Semenyuk, 39, told Military Times, adding that she went into labor and had her kid just hours later.

“It was very cold … but I’m not whining about anything because my child is alive, but I know that there are many mothers who lost their children having them in a bunker,” said Semenyuk, who works on a tactical medical instructors team that trains soldiers and others in combat zones at least once a month.

As the war between Ukraine and Russia drags on, leaders in the American veterans community are looking to ensure others do not have to endure similar hardships, announcing this week the formation of a new organization focused on supporting Kyiv in its ongoing war to defend itself.

That non-partisan, non-profit group, American Veterans for Ukraine, kickstarted its effort with an event Thursday in Washington, D.C., ahead of Memorial Day weekend.

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