As Putin continues his onslaught on Ukraine, a small group of American veterans is out on the streets of the country rescuing orphans in besieged areas and transporting them to safety.
The children, who were forced to fend for themselves amid the harsh conditions of war, are brought from the front lines of the battle to Lviv, a far west city in Ukraine where refugees had been flooding into Poland. There, they can be screened, evaluated, and be given medical assistance if needed.
Retired Army Green Beret Jeremy Locke, along with his team, the Aerial Recovery Group, a team of US war vets, have rescued over 460 orphans since they began operations in Ukraine. The team expects to have at least another thousand orphans that still need evacuation.
“But the numbers will change depending how the war unfolds,” he said. According to Locke, rescued children range from four years old to young teens. “They’re just so young, confused, and scared. They’re too innocent, and we want to protect that innocence as much as possible.”