The working visit of the delegation of the Ukrainian Veterans Foundation to the USA is continuing, and we are talking about our meetings and the people with whom we had the opportunity to communicate about the future of our veterans and plan joint work.
On October 19, the US NGO Atlantic Council organized a closed meeting for our delegation with a number of organizations, including: the US Ukraine Foundation, TAPS, representatives of the US State Department, the Department of Veterans Affairs and other institutions.
The delegation consisted of: the Executive Director of the Ukrainian Veterans Foundation Natalia Ricabal Kalmykova, Head of Veterans Council Ministry of Veterans Affairs of Ukraine and active service Volodymyr Laguta, veteran of the Russian-Ukrainian war and active service Alexandr Morozov, veteran, co-founder of the Ukrainian Women Veteran Movement Yulia Kirillova, mother of the defender of “Azovstal” Dmytro “Orest” Kozatsky Iryna Yurchenko, employees of the UVF Tetiana Shvydchenko, Olena Prikhno, Teslenko Kateryna and the Director General of the Director General of the Directorate of Digital Development, Digital Transformations and Digitalization of the Ministry of Veterans Affairs of Ukraine, Alina Maslo, presented Ukraine’s efforts to create proper conditions for veterans, family members of veterans` and families of the fallen.
Impressive stories of success, endurance, strength from our veterans and Dmytro Kozatsky’s mother evoke powerful emotions in listeners and pride in us every time we listen to them.
“Ukraine inspires the whole world. You inspire us!”. We hear similar phrases very often.
Of particular interest was the story about women defenders. Ukrainian military women and veterans are an example to the entire world in fighting for rights and freedoms. Namely, for the right to defend their Motherland. The history of the Ukrainian Women Veteran Movement and its contribution to the advocacy of women’s rights in the army inspires respect, and partners are ready to support this civil movement in the future.
A meaningful dialogue was held with the adviser of Senator Connor Jeffers Of. Cong Jason Crow. The senator is a veteran himself, so the problems of veterans and the challenges facing our country are understandable to him and his office.
Veterans in power in the United States are not the exception, but rather the rule. In particular, more than 90 members of the current Congress are veterans.
During a meeting with Evelyn Farkas, President of the McCain Institute, ideas for the development and support of veteran entrepreneurship, based on the experience of American veterans, were discussed.
The Church heals not only souls. How can the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church contribute to the rehabilitation of our veterans? This and other things were discussed with Borys Hudziak, Metropolitan of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Archeparch of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia, President of the Ukrainian Catholic University. We talked about training programs and training for veterans, cooperation regarding work with veteran communities of chaplains.
Future cooperation and ways of helping veterans were also discussed with representatives of the new charitable organization Florida4Ukraine, created in February this year.
And on October 23, we had a special meeting with the community of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of St. Nicholas, which is the center of Ukrainian culture for all of South Florida.
The church community actively supports the Ukrainian military. An official reception was organized for the delegation, at which we discussed cooperation regarding future projects of the UVF.
The abbot, Archpriest Mykhailo Tsyupka, blessed our military, the families of veterans and all Ukrainians.
Also a number of productive meetings with heads of Rotary clubs was held. For Rotarians, it was interesting to hear about the achievements of veterans in entrepreneurship and their contribution to the reconstruction of the Ukrainian economy by exchanging contacts and agreeing on further actions. “We want to support such stories,” they answered. And again – among the Rotarians there is an extremely large number of ex-military men who are successful in civilian life.
At the time of the full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation, the Ukrainian Veterans Foundation Ministry of Veterans Affairs of Ukraine is doing everything possible to ensure that veterans and their needs are heard and understood – not only in Ukraine, but all over the world, and in order for the entire world to join in solving problems and creating conditions.
They are fighting for us, we are defending their interests and creating opportunities now, without waiting for the end of the war. After all, we have to meet Victory ready.
We are sincerely grateful to the people of the United States of America and Ukrainians in America for their support and assistance to Ukraine.
Special thanks to Helen Solovey Tanya Aldave Mila Demchyk Savage Troy Savage Pavlo Tomiak Yulia Khirska Oleksandr Kravchenko for helping the delegation during the working trip.