LINCOLN COUNTY, Wash. — The devastation in Ukraine and the courage of so many citizens fighting for their country has inspired people all over the world to donate money to help with relief.
Jeremy Smith of Odessa, Washington is taking things a step further.
"We basically need to bring our body armor, any winter gear or stuff you might need," Smith said.
Smith spent $400 dollars Wednesday at the Spokane Army Surplus store buying extra gear before heading to Eastern Europe.
"What inspired me to go over into Ukraine is I don't like what I'm seeing going on over there," Smith said. "I don't feel like it's right, and I feel a duty to action on it."
Smith owns a coffee shop in Odessa, Washington and plans to leave his business and fiancé next week to go fight in Ukraine. He's joining a group of men from Seattle.
"We have some people on the ground in Ukraine that we communicate with and also in Poland," Smith said.
Smith will fly to Warsaw, Poland on Mar. 17 to visit the Ukrainian embassy to fill out paperwork. From there, he will travel to the Ukrainian border.
Smith says Ukrainians are providing firearms and other supplies. He plans to stay through the spring and is not sure if he will be able to call and update his fiancé back home.
"I was told I better get my butt back in time for my wedding which is in June, so my fiancé is quite adamant about the return date," Smith said.
Returning home safe is the ultimate goal. Smith has no formal military experience, he's worked as a bail bond agent for more than 25 years and has received close combat training.
"I am most concerned about my safety, I'm not going to lie," Smith said. "I'm going into a war zone, but on the other hand I know what I'm getting myself into."