Brandon Shorter. Photo by Ashton Hare

With the war raging overseas between Ukraine and Russia life remains uncertain for many countries. 

Civilians are plagued with questions like which country will be next? Or how can we support the Ukrainians? 

Many of these questions will lie unanswered and can only be explained with time. Everyone has a different view on how the conflict will resolve, but someone who has the best viewpoint are veterans. Veterans know war, because they have been in and around it, so their viewpoint on combat is critical. 

Currently, the United States is staying away from direct interaction in the Ukraine and Russia conflict. They are involved in the war in providing support to Ukraine, but not enough to send troops over to help Ukraine fight Russia. 

When Russia first threatened to invade Ukraine, America promised to deliver a “‘swift, severe and united response’” according to secretary of state Antony Blinken back on January 25. How the US was going to do this was by admitting sanctions towards Russia, and they have followed through with this. The sanctions towards Russia have been crippling to their economy. 

Mark Cushman, an Army vet of six and a half years, says this isn’t enough. 

“I think that we should back them, but I don’t want to take this on as if it’s our war as we’ve done in the past,” Cushman said.  

“But I think a lot more could be done to nip this in the bud. I think that we will have to put a certain amount in a training capacity, but not go beyond that unless we have to because we may be avoiding World War III. It takes a lot of sacrifice. I know people that don’t want to send our sons and daughters off to war. I don’t either. But freedom is not free.” 

The road to freedom is paved with sacrifice. Look at the Ukrainians. They are fighting tooth and nail for their freedom. The odds were against them because Russia had the better military force, but because they are fighting for their freedom and their home they are resisting their invaders in an awe inspiring way.

Brandon Shorter, an Air Force veteran who served for four years, also believes the US should get more involved in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. 

“Most certainly, all nations should, and being involved doesn’t necessarily mean monetary help. Even weapons help. But Mexico just entered into a deal with Russia. So now we have a country below us that is in some form of alliance with this kind of country that is unbalancing the world right now,” Shorter said.  

Right now the world is seated on the edge of a cliff. Will Russia invade a NATO country and start World War III or will they stop their invasion with Ukraine? There are so many uncertainties in the world that only time and the decisions of world leaders can tell. 

Even with all the countries in such a vulnerable place there are some people who, no matter what are the lifeblood and fighters for their country: the military. 

Without the military people wouldn’t be able to sleep peacefully in their bed at night or go to work. 

“I’m proud of the folks that serve and that’s a hard thing [to do],” Cushman said. 

Mark Cushman. Photo by Ashton Hare

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