(NewsNation) — Some people hoping to join the fight in Ukraine have been turned away, or have at least found it more difficult to volunteer than they thought.
“They want to be able to put you in the fight right away,” said Canadian Bryson Woolsey. But “they don’t have the manpower and support to do a lot of training.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called for the world’s help in February. He asked for anyone who is free to answer his call to defend his nation — creating the new “International Defense Legion of Ukraine.”
By early March, 16,000 volunteers responded. Since then, tens of thousands more have offered to help, at times overwhelming Ukrainian embassies around the world.
Zelenskyy’s ability to talk directly to the people on social media inspired many, like Woolsey.
“It’s a big thing,” Woolsey said. “And it’s that it just sucks people in and (we’re) just trying to do what we can to help in some way.”
Woolsey was all in. He quit his job as a chef and admits he was a bit impulsive, thinking the wheels would turn quicker once he contacted the Ukrainian embassy.
Without military experience, however, his plans have been put on hold.
Woolsey is far from alone. Facebook pages full of potential recruits have a variety of reasons as to why they, too, are being delayed.
One military leader told NewsNation that only people with military experience are being accepted because this is a life-or-death situation. The Ukrainian military doesn’t want to run the risk of using inexperienced volunteers unless it’s absolutely necessary.
At the very least, this is what you will need to do if you want to sign up:
- Apply to the Embassy of Ukraine in your country
- Get your documents in order.
- Bring documents for an interview
- Write an application
- Wait for instructions on what to bring
Woolsey says others he knows, who are veterans, have been called up. They sign a contract and are paid.
“Once they got through the process, it was quick,” he said.
The contract they sign is good until the fighting ends, but they can leave at any time.
“When that missile hit the training area (in the western part of the country, near Lviv), I think … they offered any of volunteers that wanted to leave that had signed that contract already, they offered to drive them to the border, and some people took them up on that,” Woolsey said.
Woolsey is still trying to find ways to help the people of Ukraine, including raising money.