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‘Beards For Ukraine’ raising money for Wisconsin veteran fighting in Ukraine

The money will buy an off-road vehicle for the veteran and his unit of Ukrainian defenders
U.S. veterans are fighting alongside Ukrainians. A local non-profit is starting a fundraiser for them.
Published: May. 19, 2022 at 5:16 PM CDT|Updated: May. 19, 2022 at 5:26 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - The non-profit organization Wisconsin Ukrainians launched a new fundraising project to help a Wisconsin veteran fighting on the front lines in Ukraine.

After watching the war play out on his TV, Bruce made the decision in March to help the Ukrainian soldiers on the front lines in person.

“My wife asked me ‘Well, what’s your gut saying to you?’ and I said I think I can help these people by being there a lot more than I can by being here,” says Bruce, a Wisconsin Army National Guard veteran.

Bruce thought the commitment would only last a few weeks.

“Then once I got here and saw really the state here and you see little kids and they’re terrified to even play, and what’s going to happen to them. And I thought if somebody was doing this to my country and to my children, I’d hope somebody who had the power or ability to do something to help would come and intervene for them, and that’s what I feel like I’m doing for them,” says Bruce.

Bruce is currently serving with Ukrainian soldiers and other volunteer veterans. “I’ve been doing mostly like sniper missions. That’s kind of been my job,” he says.

Now Bruce’s unit is in need of help, and the president of Wisconsin Ukrainians, Jonathan Pylypiv, has organized a new fundraiser to do exactly that.

“Bruce and I, we served in the Wisconsin Army National Guard together. This is someone who served our country proudly in the United States military and volunteered to go,” says Pylypiv.

The fundraiser, “Beards For Ukraine,” aims to raise $12,000 to buy an off-road vehicle for the veteran and his unit to complete more missions.

“Sometimes right now, they’re maybe doing without, and they’re not able to actually go do their missions,” says Pylypiv.

If they reach their goal, “We’re going to shave our beard if we reach our goal. And we have a few veterans already, people that served with Bruce and I,” Pylypiv says.

You can help Bruce by donating to Beards For Ukraine.

“I’m proud to know him, proud to have served with him, and proud to help him right now in whatever way we can to make sure that he can do his job and come home safe,” says Pylypiv.

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