A Marine veteran who volunteered to fight with Ukraine against Russia has died while defending the country.
Twenty-two-year-old veteran Willy Joseph Cancel worked part-time for a private military contracting company while also working full-time as a corrections officer. When war broke out in Ukraine, the company asked for contractors to answer Ukraine’s call for help and Cancel volunteered. The marine flew to Poland on March 12 before entering Ukraine.
“My husband did die in Ukraine,” Cancel’s wife, Brittany, said. “He went there wanting to help people, he had always felt that that was his main mission in life.”
She said her husband “had dreams and aspirations of being a police officer or joining FDNY. Naturally when he found out about what was happening in Ukraine he was eager to volunteer.”
Cancel leaves behind his wife and seven-month-old baby boy.
“My husband was very brave and a hero,” Cancel said. “I did not expect to be a widow at 23 years-old or for our son to be without a father. All I want is for him to come home, and to give him the proper burial he deserves.”
President Joe Biden is pushing Congress for an additional $33 billion in aid to help Ukraine. The money would go toward “security, economic, and humanitarian aid,” with Biden describing the bill as necessary “to support Ukraine in this fight for freedom.”