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Ukrainian League of American Football members get their families to safety and then enlist in the army

By Annabel O’Neill (6th)

Something we always take for granted is life itself. Waking up in your bed in the morning, eating dinner with your family, writing with a pencil on a piece of white paper. All of these things and more are what two Ukrainian men, Yurri Hundych and Roman Boguslavskyi, gave up to fight in the Russo-Ukrainian war. And these people didn’t just give up normal life with their family. These two men, among the rest of their team in the Ukrainian League of American Football, escaped to the border of Ukraine, hugged their loved ones, and left them behind as they turned around and went to join the army to fight for their beloved country.

The Russo-Ukrainian war reached a big turning point over a year ago, on the 24 of February 2022, which some people consider to be the start of the war. In reality, it started all the way back in 2014. Vladimir Putin gave the order for his army to cross Ukraine's borders and start a land invasion, with bombings of cities closer to the borders. The war escalated from there and everything became much more dangerous. Many Ukrainians realized that it was getting to be too much to stay in their home country. Families fled the country by the thousand, but many stayed behind to defend Ukraine in the war.

Yurri and Roman risked their lives to defend Ukraine, and are out there fighting right now. NFL’s Kyle Brandt has been collaborating with them to make a documentary called Who if Not Us which is about their story. Then, two weeks before Super Bowl LVII, Yurri and Roman were invited to appear for an interview during the pregame show and have tickets to the Super Bowl! They agreed to come and then go back to fight in Ukraine. Now most everybody knows their story. What they did is very brave, and they will continue to defend their home country as long as the war continues, until they win, or until they die.

Image Citation:

“Two Ukranian Football Stars.”, NFL, Accessed 28 Feb. 2023.