A 22-year-old former US Marine who was hired to fight Ukrainian soldiers against Russian invaders was tragically killed this week., leaving behind his seven-month-old baby.
Willy Joseph Cancel, 22, was hired by a private military contracting company to fight in Ukraine when he passed away on Monday, family members told CNN.
Cancel’s mother, Rebecca Cabrera said: "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."
The 22-year-old travelled arrived in Ukraine on March 13 to fight with men from "all different countries," Cabrera said.
It is not currently clear what the circumstances of Cancel's death are, and it is understood that his body has not been recovered.
“They haven’t found his body,” Cabrera said.
“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.”
“He was just a really thoughtful person,” Cabrera added.
“He always kept everybody laughing and calm. He was the man that stood up when everybody else stood back.”
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Cancel, from New York, reportedly signed the contract to earn some extra money away from his full-time job as a corrections officer.
He tragically leaves behind a wife and seven-month-old baby, it was reported.
The US State Department said it was “closely monitoring the situation" and continued to urge US residents not to travel to Ukraine “due to the active armed conflict and the singling out of US citizens in Ukraine by Russian government security officials.”
Devin Tietze, Cancel's brother-in-law, told CNN the 22-year-old was the "type to fight for what’s right regardless of the outcome".
He added that the military man would “always put everybody ahead of himself.”
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