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Relatives speak former US Marine killed fighting inside Ukraine

Relatives speak former US Marine killed fighting inside Ukraine

WASHINGTON (AP) — A 22-year-old former U.S. Marine was killed alongside Ukrainian forces inside the war accompanied by Russia, his relatives told report outlets inside what's the earliest known demise of an American subject fighting inside Ukraine.

Willy Joseph Cancel was killed Monday while employed for a military contracting firm that sent him to Ukraine, his mother, Rebecca Cabrera, told CNN. Cancel had not long ago worked while a corrections officer inside Tennessee with every one other accompanied by had formerly served inside the Marines from 2017-21, joining the work the same year he graduated from high school.

Cabrera said her son had signed up to labour accompanied by the private military contractor in a short time earlier to fighting began inside Ukraine on Feb. 24. She told CNN he agreed to go to Ukraine.

"He wanted to go over since he believed inside what Ukraine was fighting for, with every one other accompanied by he wanted to exist a small portion of it to include it there so it didn't go nearer here, with every one other accompanied by that maybe our American soldiers wouldn't have to exist associated accompanied by inside it," she said.

Cabrera said her son's body has not been found.

"They haven't found his body," she said. "They are trying, the men that were accompanied by him, nevertheless it was either seize his body or obtain killed, nevertheless we would deep affection for him to go nearer spine to us."

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She said her son flew to Poland on March 12 with every one other accompanied by entered Ukraine in a short time after. She said he was fighting alongside men from a number of countries.

Cancel had too served while a volunteer firefighter inside New York with every one other accompanied by leaves behind a 7-month-old son, according to an online fundraising page place up by a male identifying himself while his father. His spouse received the call informing her of his demise on Tuesday, the page said. The father wrote that Cancel made the decision inside early March to go to Ukraine since he wanted to protect guiltless people.

Cancel graduated from Newburgh Free Academy inside New York inside 2017, the educational organization neighbourhood said.

Cancel worked at a private prison inside Tennessee from May 2021 until January, said Matthew Davio, a spokesperson for the private prison firm CoreCivic. The Trousdale Turner Correctional Center, a means of communication safety facility, is concerning an hour northeast of Nashville.

"As a correctional officer, Mr. Cancel served his condition with every one other accompanied by his population by helping carry on accompanied by a safe, firm environment where inmates tin take part inside life-changing reentry programs. We are thankful for his work with every one other accompanied by saddened by his loss," Davio said inside a statement.

While inside the Marines, Cancel served while a rifleman with every one other accompanied by was stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. He was specified a bad behaviour discharge following he was convicted of violating a lawful general order, Marine Corps spokesperson Maj. Jim Stenger said.

He had no indeed war area deployments, Stenger said. No other details on the bad behaviour declaration of guilt were provided.

The U.S. has not confirmed the reports of Cancel's death. On Friday, the State Department said it was aware of the reports with every one other accompanied by is "closely monitoring the situation" nevertheless could not remark further "due to privacy considerations."

"We on one occasion once additional reiterate U.S. citizens should not journey to Ukraine due to the operative armed dispute with every one other accompanied by the singling not here of U.S. citizens inside Ukraine by Russian management safety officials, with every one other accompanied by that U.S. citizens inside Ukraine should depart straight away if it is protected from danger to do so using some commercial or other privately available ground transportation options," the State Department said.

Cancel's widow, Brittany Cancel, told Fox News he leaves behind a young son with every one other accompanied by that she sees her husband while a hero.

"My husband did die inside Ukraine," Brittany Cancel said. "He went there wanting to assist people, he had always felt that that was his main task inside life."

She said her husband volunteered to go to Ukraine nevertheless too had aspirations of becoming a police officer or firefighter.

"He had dreams with every one other accompanied by aspirations of actuality a police officer or joining FDNY," she told Fox. "Naturally when he found not here concerning what was happening inside Ukraine, he was eager to volunteer."

Tens of thousands of Ukrainians are believed to have died inside the war. Other noncombatants from the U.S. have been killed, including a documentary filmmaker killed when his automobile came under blaze at a checkpoint with every one other accompanied by a male killed while he was waiting inside a bread line.


AP Diplomatic Writer Matthew Lee inside Washington contributed.

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