(NewsNation) — After signing up to fight for their own country, some U.S. military veterans are now volunteering to join the Ukrainian fight against Russia.
Cody Heard is a military veteran, husband and father. He was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army in 2018 but is heading to Ukraine to join the fight. Heard said the pride for his country, along with his Army experience, is his primary motivator.
“When you see the Americans, we always go to help other people who are in need and this is the first time we have not really intervened with a country in need,” Heard said on “Morning in America.” “I think that all of U.S. military veterans, combat vets, noncombat vets, I think we all have the same mindset — that we need to be over there working with people because that’s what we do as Americans.”
Thousands of people are thought to have been killed, both civilians and soldiers, in two weeks of fighting since President Vladimir Putin’s forces invaded Ukraine. Heard said he is anxious about joining the fight but believes it’s for the greater good.
“There’s always the fear of not coming back home, but, you know, I’m confident myself, I’m confident in the training I received from the military,” Heard said. “I have a religious background, I have all the faith that I’m going to be OK.”
Cody Heard’s wife, Amber, said she was anxious about her husband joining the war, but knew he was doing it for the right reasons.
“I’m OK. We’ll be OK. I know he will be OK,” Amber Heard said on “Morning in America.” “It’s hard, but he’s doing it for the right reasons.”
Cody’s initial plan is to stay in Ukraine for a month. Depending on his ability to provide for his family back home, he may stay longer.
“If the opportunity arises where I can financially still provide for my family. I will stay longer if I need to,” Heard said on “Morning in America.” “But right now, … I can support (the) … Ukrainian government … for one month.”
This comes amid a NewsNation/Decision Desk HQ poll that found there is broad support for continuing to arm the Ukrainians in their fight against Russia as well as for the economic sanctions imposed by the United States. But Americans draw a line: They are almost as strongly against using U.S. troops to defend Ukraine.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.