Iowa Veteran Volunteers to Join Ukrainian Fight Against Russia
Ryan O'Leary is a National Guard veteran and a former Congressional candidate in Iowa. He's now fighting on behalf of Ukraine against the Russian invasion.
In fact, he ended his campaign order to leave the states and fight. This is what the Carroll, Iowa native told the Carroll Times Herald:
This was one of the main reasons that I ended my congressional campaign. I didn’t think running for office while fighting in a war with allied forces would have been workable. I decided to pick up a rifle again because Ukraine is facing a superpower who is against the self-determination of the Ukrainian people.
O'Leary is not in any sort of official role with the United States Military but decided to join multi-national coalitions of individuals who were determined to join the battle on behalf of the smaller country. He added this:
I am here to help defend Ukraine against an invasion by Russia. ... They need all the experienced help from who is willing to fight, advise and possibly die.
The former candidate for the 4th Congressional District told the Carroll Times Herald all of this via social media roughly two weeks ago, saying that he had previously arrived in Ukraine after flying to Romania on March 1 and crossing the border.
Mark O'Leary, Ryan's father, spoke on behalf of him and his wife, Linda:
Obviously, we are probably more worried. It's not a good situation. He's not over there passing out candy.
O'Leary made his decision despite the fact that U.S. troops have not officially been sent to aid Ukraine in the fight against Russia.
Though America is not using its military to help, according to the U.S. Department of State, "The total security assistance the United States has committed to Ukraine over the past year to more than $1 billion." And the new "package will include further lethal defensive assistance to help Ukraine address the armored, airborne, and other threats it is now facing."
The decision to not send American troops to the war-torn country is largely based on the active choice by America to avoid a third world war.
President Joe Biden said this to NBC in February:
It's not like we're dealing with a terrorist organization. We're dealing with one of the largest armies in the world. This is a very difficult situation, and things could go crazy quickly.