UPDATED 7:01 AM PT – Friday, April 29, 2022
A 22-year-old US Marine was reportedly killed fighting in Ukraine against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces. Family members of Willy Joseph Cancel said they were told he died on Monday.
At the time of his death, he was working with a private military contracting company. According to his family, the company was apparently hiring people to fight in the war, which led Cancel to fly to Poland in March.
“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,” explained his mother, Rebecca Cabrera. “And that maybe our American soldiers wouldn’t have to be involved in it.”
At this time, Cancel’s body has not been recovered. He leaves behind a wife and 7-month-old baby.
“He went there wanting help people, he had always felt that was his main mission in life,” said the Marine’s wife, Brittany Cancel. “My husbands was very brave and a hero. I did not expect to be a widow at 23-years-old or for our son to be without a father. All I want is for him to come home and to give the proper burial he deserves.”
A State Department official said they are aware of these reports and are closely monitoring the situation. The official also reiterated that US citizens “should not travel to Ukraine due to the active armed conflict and the singling out of US citizens in Ukraine by Russian government security officials.”
It's being reported that a former U.S. Marine, Willy Joseph Cancel, was killed fighting for Ukraine.
He was just 22. He leaves behind a wife and 7-month-old daughter.
— Clint Ehrlich (@ClintEhrlich) April 29, 2022