A 22-year-old former US Marine was killed while fighting for Ukraine against the Russian forces after his private firm sent him to war.
“Rest in peace. The mission never ended for this former US Marine, killed while fighting for Ukraine. Leaves wife and young son,” FBIT Assistant Director Frank Figliuzzi Tweeted.
The deceased has been identified as Willy Joseph Cancel, 22, from Orange County, New York. On Monday, his family confirmed that he was the father of a 7-month-old son,CNN reported.
The young man is survived by his 7-mo nth-old son Anthony and wife, Brittany. The couple got married in 2019.
In a statement, the deceased’s mother confirmed that Cancel used to work for a ‘private military contracting company’ that sent him to fight alongside Ukraine after the Russian invasion.
‘He wanted to go over because he believed in what Ukraine was fighting for, and he wanted to be a part of it to contain it there so it didn’t come here, and that maybe our American soldiers wouldn’t have to be involved in it,’ he mother stated to CNN.
The circumstances of his death are currently not clear, including where and how he was killed.
His mother, Cabrera, further said that her son’s companions in the war couldn’t retrieve his body as they were in the middle of a fight that killed him.
‘They haven’t found his body,’ said the grieving woman. ‘They are trying, the men that were with him, but it was either grab his body or get killed, but we would love for him to come back to us.’
Cancel worked as a corrections officer in Tennessee before he flew to Poland in March and entered Ukraine.
His mother told the CNN reporters that his brave son was joined by a group of men from ‘all different countries’ to fight alongside Ukraine.
‘It was something that he believed in his heart, that was the right thing,’ said Cabrera. ‘He was the type of man who always stepped up when everybody else stepped back, and there were a lot of men who were like that that were with him.’
Cancel’s brother-in-law, Devin Tietze, agreed with his mother’s statement and added that ‘Cancel was the type to fight for what’s right regardless of the outcome.’
‘He believed wholeheartedly this shouldn’t have happened and he wanted to go help the people in Ukraine,’ he told CNN.