JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – As tensions between Russia and Ukraine rise, the Pentagon recently put 8,500 troops on alert for possible deployment to Eastern Europe.

People in Eastern North Carolina are reacting to this news with one veteran WNCT spoke with saying right now is a scary time especially for military families here in Eastern North Carolina. 

“You just never know what the outcome with something like that would be. That’s always weighing heavily on, you know, service members’ minds when something like this happens. It’s just the unknown,” said Ret. SgtMaj in the Marine Corps, Raquel Painter.

“Especially your call to deploy, what arrangements are there for your family. Is the family prepared for you to be gone for, you know, an unknown amount of time?” 

The Director of Security Studies at East Carolina, Armin Krishnan, said putting troops on high alert like this is unusual. He added the United States does not have any kind of legal obligation to defend Ukraine. 

“I don’t think that the U.S. would want to get involved directly in a war between Ukraine and Russia,” Krishnan said. 

Krishnan also said the U.S. is a partner of Ukraine and we have been supporting them for years. Krishnan doesn’t think there will be a war at all but gave his input if this were to occur. 

“We don’t want to see that kind of war. I mean, during the Cold War, we have been very careful not to get directly into a military conflict with Russia, or the Soviet Union,” said Krishnan.