“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them”

–Laurance Binyon, “For the Fallen” (1914)

In Memorium

Another American citizen, a US Army veteran, has died fighting for freedom in Ukraine. Andrew Peters of Marshfield, Wisconsin, was just 28 years old. He was killed in action on February 16th.

Peters in Ukraine. Screenshot from YouTube and eXXpress TV

According to The Washington Post, Peter’s parents received a call from his unit last Tuesday stating that their son was missing in action. Andrew’s father, John Peters, had served in the US Army during the first Gulf War. In an interview with WP, he said, “If someone is missing in action, that usually means one of two things: Either they are dead, or they were taken prisoner.” Later that same day, the Marshfield, Wisconsin family got a crushing call from US officials telling them their son had died.

His unit could not tell them exactly where Andrew had died, citing security concerns. However, the family was told that they would later learn these details.

Peters is the seventh American killed in Ukraine in the year-long war. He grew up in Marshfield, Wisconsin, and enlisted in the US Army before graduating high school in 2012, when he left for basic training just four days before his 18th birthday. He served a tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2014 and was honorably discharged after four years of service. After his time in the Army, he moved back to his hometown, where he enjoyed hiking and playing hockey in his free time.

Andrew, who could speak Ukrainian and Russian, volunteered to join the fight when the war broke out. He landed in Ukraine a few days after Thanksgiving, lugging his personal military gear and body armor. During his time in Ukraine, he managed to stay in touch with his family and friends back home until February 11th. His father recalls some of his text messages. “Dad, you cannot believe the horror and the suffering of the Ukrainian people that is going on over here.”, he wrote.

In an email that his father John sent to Wisconsin Public Radio, he said,

“Andrew had a strong sense of what was right and wrong.  He felt the need to use his prior military combat skills to help the Ukrainian people fight and liberate their country. Andrew was extremely close to his fellow soldiers and was well-liked by everyone. We are all extremely proud of his bravery and selfless sacrifice.”

Saying goodbye before the long flight back to the United States. Image from Roman Baluk/Reuters via Daily Beast

In a statement given to Wisconsin Public Radio from the US State Department, they said, “We can confirm the deaths of US citizens in Ukraine. We are in touch with their respective families and providing all possible consular assistance.” What is somewhat troubling about this statement is its plural nature. It seems that Andrew Peters was not the only American to die recently in Ukraine. SOFREP will report on the others once more information becomes available.

Total Losses Thus Far

As noted above, Peters is the seventh American citizen to die during Ukraine’s war against Russia. Senior US officials put the number of Russian soldiers killed since the February 2022 invasion at close to 200,000. This is a testament to how poorly Vladimir Putin is running his war. One wonders how long the Russian people will stand for this level of bloodshed among their troops. On the Ukrainian side, Norwegian general Eirik Kristoffersen, that nation’s defense chief, recently told The New York Times that he estimated that 100,000 Ukrainian soldiers were killed or wounded in action in addition to approximately 30,000 civilian deaths.

Casualty figures are based on a number of factors, including communications intercepts, satellite imagery analysis, social media reports, and “boots on the ground” journalist reports. This is in addition to official government reporting from both sides of the conflict. Obtaining accurate numbers is extremely difficult, and the figures quoted above may vary by thousands of individuals either way.