'This is my calling.' Local vet heads to Ukraine to fight in war

Posted at 5:35 AM, Apr 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-18 05:35:51-04

(WXYZ) — A metro Detroit veteran is making his way to Kyiv this morning so he can help Ukrainians fight off Russian invaders.

He'll join thousands of other foreign retired military members who answered the call to action.

Dan Rebar retired from the airforce in the 90s but he says ge always felt a responsibility to protect the innocent.

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"It's painful to watch," he said.

Bloodshed and destruction in Ukraine seem to get more intense by the day.

Russia's military has launched airstrikes in cities like Kharkiv and Mariupol killing people with no hand in the war.

Dan Rebar is just glad it's happening for the world to see.

"Thank goodness that we're able to see these things and we're made aware of these things because we now have an opportunity to stop it," he said.

Dan is leaving his job as a security guard at the Ren Center to meet a unit with the International Legion of Ukraine

"This is my calling," he said.

After trying to go through the Ukrainian Consulate in metro Detroit, Dan connected with Sasha.

It was clear that this man turned friend was his fastest way to battle.

"This is helping us, you know. This is helping me in my heart," Sasha Tkachenko said.

Sasha, who is originally from Kyiv works in Hamtramck.

He helps run the United Support for Ukraine, a warehouse working around the clock to collect bulk donations for people in Ukraine. Dan is going to personally deliver some aid supplies to Warsaw and Poland.

After that, Sasha's contacts in Ukraine will bring Dan to Kyiv to join their defense forces.

"I have my friends already there sitting on the front line. And I'm going to be thinking about one more person," Sasha said.

Dan says he'll rely on muscle memory to carry him through the indefinite mission.

"It's become real. And training comes back," Dan said.