KENANSVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – It’s been one year since the war broke out between Ukraine and Russia.
Many people across the country and here in Eastern North Carolina are continuing to show support for Ukraine. One man who visited on the front lines is doing what he can, even if it’s from Duplin County.
Paintings, drawings, and prints, all from Ukrainian artists, are just one way Veterans Without Borders is hoping to give back. The organization has had four missions to Ukraine thus far.
“We focus on humanitarian missions over there,” said Allan Garry, co-founder and vice president of Veterans Without Borders. “We’ve delivered four pallets of about $120,000 worth of medical supplies. We’ve trained over 8,000 people in tactical combat casualty care.”
Mission five is coming up in just a few weeks.
“We’re going to focus on the training and focus on lasting support and lasting infrastructure because every time when we back out we see kind of a similar thing as the communication dies down a little bit, but it’s a different environment over there,” said Garry.
When finishing mission two, the volunteers met Angelina, a 17-year-old Ukrainian artist that fled to Poland. Garry asked to buy her work and bring it back to the United States.
“She just sent me one or two pieces of art back,” he said. “Then we started getting a bunch of pictures from kids in school that were in shelters, and they wanted to do stuff for us and draw artwork and the word got out and we started getting donations of art like crazy.”
“This is directly related to wartime things and probably evacuations. It looks like a refugee and you know, the males can’t leave if they’re under 65, so he’s probably saying bye to his son,” Garry said when speaking about one piece.
The plan is to put together an art tour, showcasing the work but also to auction the pieces off with all proceeds going back to help Ukraine.
“Whether it’s to help rebuild Ukraine, or to help take medical supplies over there to help with the training, that is wide-ranging,” he said. “This is a huge task and a huge undertaking. They put a lot of faith and trust in me and I don’t want to let them down.”
To learn more about the artwork or Veterans Without Borders missions, click here.