Kimberly man back home after giving humanitarian aid to Ukraine

“I truly believe that Russia, or nobody, will ever concur the Ukrainian people. They may occupy the country, but they are resolute.”
Idaho man returns home after humanitarian service in Ukraine
Published: Apr. 11, 2022 at 5:24 PM MDT
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KIMBERLY, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — After spending decades in war zones as a pilot and host of sniper classes, Kimberly resident Jerry Jacques had a skillset that was needed in the war-torn country of Ukraine.

“I promised my wife and family I was done,” he said. “I’d been asked by some friends of mine that have been over there for almost a month to come help teach a sniper class.”

But on his way, an explosion at an ammo facility led to his sniper class being canceled, so Jacques had a change of plans.

He arrived at the Poland-Ukraine border and began offering help.

“I wound up finding someone that was delivering body armor and needed some help just lifting all the bags of body armor,” he said.

That’s how he met Salomon Smith, a man from Utah making a profound humanitarian impact.

“He’s developing a network on the Poland side to find out what supplies are where. He fills his van with what is actually needed and goes back into Ukraine and is crisscrossing all over Ukraine delivering the supplies,” said Jacques.

Jacques traveled alongside Smith for weeks, delivering food, medicine, body armor and other supplies into Ukraine, getting as close as 40 miles west of Kyiv.

“The people there were trying to go about daily lives, but you could see there was tremendous stress on them,” said Jacques.

While traveling in the country, Jacques met hundreds of people, including one Russian man, who since moving to Ukraine has been displaced at the hands of Putin’s army twice and is learning hard lessons about his home.

“He said, ‘All my life I was told by Russia that America was my enemy, that England was horrible. Now, I’m seeing Americans and Canadians and British coming over with nothing but wanting to help. I now know who my true friends are,” Jacques explained.

Jacques tells me he learned many lessons during his time in Ukraine and, above all, he learned about the nature of the Ukrainian people.

“I truly believe that Russia, or nobody, will ever concur the Ukrainian people. They may occupy the country, but they are resolute,” he said.

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