March 19, 2022 – 2:29 PM
A Barriere man who appears as much as his Ukrainian grandfather says now’s the time to honour his reminiscence by supporting his house nation.
Joshua Robertson is planning to step on the primary flight of his life April 11. It was shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine Feb. 25, that Robertson and his buddy from the U.S. determined they might head abroad collectively to assist the nation throughout the battle.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has referred to as for foreigners to hitch an “worldwide brigade” to defeat Russia following its invasion.
Robertson was in Kelowna this weekend, receiving navy coaching and navy tactical gear from the Kelowna Stands with Ukraine group. The group started on Fb and has been funding navy tactical gear and medical gear to Canadians preventing abroad in Ukraine along with bringing provides to the entrance strains.
Canadian Defence Minister Anita Anand has stated there are uncertainties round whether or not it’s authorized for Canadians to combat for the Ukrainian aspect however many Canadians have been answering the Ukrainian authorities’s calls to assist defend the nation.
Robertson is certainly one of them. This afternoon, he’s heading to a taking pictures vary to learn to shoot among the weapons he’ll be utilizing oversees, he stated.
“My grandfather, he was a very massive affect. He left Ukraine to return to assist us Canadians come to combat in world warfare two, I consider. I do know I’ve household down there and I must go house. I need to take my household to Ukraine, my son. If we don’t cease this there’s not going to be a Ukraine to go to.
“The largest cause I’m becoming a member of is so my son doesn’t should combat the following warfare,” he stated.
He’s not the primary Inside resident to reply Zelenskyy’s name.
A Kelowna man is at the moment defending navy items in Lviv. He left for Ukraine earlier this month.
READ MORE: Kelowna man defending navy items in Ukraine
Robertson can be leaving his household behind, together with his spouse and nine-year-old son, who he stated have been supportive of his determination.
“He is a child. He thinks dad goes to play Name of Responsibility and that’s not the case, I’m not heading down there to choose up a weapon to go shoot,” he stated. “My spouse, she understands, she actually doesn’t need me to go however she understands that nobody goes to cease me.”
Robertson doesn’t but know the place he can be stationed in Ukraine however plans to assist with humanitarian efforts or to protect gear. When he lands in Warsaw, Poland’s capital, he can be assembly with residents and transferring Kelowna donations, earlier than heading throughout the border. He can be assembly his U.S. buddy abroad they usually plan to remain collectively. He’s already taken out loans to buy gear, he stated.
“We wish to be posted up whether or not it’s a guard station on the border. We actually don’t need to be instantly within the fights, except we have now to. Something we are able to do, we’re simply happening there to take the load off the precise heroes,” he stated.
He plans to enroll with the Georgian Legion, a paramilitary unit fashioned by principally Georgian volunteers preventing with Ukraine. He has no prior navy expertise apart from navy cadets as a toddler, however all the time had an curiosity in navy historical past and at one time needed to hitch the Canadian Armed Forces.
Robertson is hoping to ultimately get his Ukrainian citizenship and transfer to the nation as soon as his son is finished with college.
“I used to be raised Ukrainian. My grandpa was a Ukrainian man. I had my first shot of vodka once I was 5 years previous,” he stated.
He has no worry of dying, he stated. “I believe the one factor I’m actually fearful of is flying… it’s going to be a 21-hour flight.”
Robertson can be talking at a rally for Ukraine tomorrow, March 20 at 2 p.m. on the Harvey Avenue overpass close to the Parkinson Recreation Centre.
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