KHERSON, UKRAINE – Sergeant First Class Christian Hickey is a former Marine who later joined the Army as an Elite Special Forces Green Beret. When the war broke out in Ukraine, Hickey felt he had to do something. But fighting was not his calling.
“I wasn’t called here to shed any blood. I was just called here to tell the people about the blood that was shed for them a long time ago,” Hickey told CBN News.
This call has caused his superiors to worry about the US National Guard working in Ukraine. Nevertheless, God opened doors for him to go.
“I’m not here representing the United States Military. I’m not here representing my team. I’m not here representing the National Guard. I’m here as an ambassador for Jesus Christ and that’s what I’m doing here. As a missionary in Ukraine,” he said.
Upon arrival, he found Ukrainian troops in dire need.
“These people don’t have doctors. There’s one doctor in a line of over 100 to 150 people. One person with some training,” Hickey said.
Tactical Combat Damage Care is one of Hickey’s specialties.
“I walked into their training facility and they saw me and they knew for sure this guy was different. They ran up to me and said, ‘Can you help us?’
Seven months ago, these soldiers were bakers, bus drivers and lawyers. Hickey taught them the skills needed to stabilize their injured brothers.
“Helping them provide a higher level of care. That’s basically what I like to do. It’s like, ‘hey, here’s how to save a brother’s life,’ or ‘how to survive if you’re injured,'” he said. he said.
His time at the front with these men gave him a deep appreciation for the hardships they faced. It’s a different kind of war than he’s used to.
“They are definitely heroes,” Hickey said. “I don’t think people understand what these Ukrainian soldiers are really going through.
“It’s the scariest thing I’ve ever faced on the front line. When you’re invisible and then there’s a Russian drone on top of you, when it just has freedom of movement and it’s firing at you.”
As the war continues, Hickey’s mission evolves to meet the need. A few days after the fall of Kherson, as the population ran out of food, Hickey and his team brought in an aid convoy to the rescue.
“We’re changing gears a little bit. This winter is going to be absolutely difficult for the people of Ukraine. There are going to be old people that I love and respect, they’re going to freeze to death in their homes. You know, we’re going to be here to deliver food to them, deliver firewood. We’re going to be here all winter long,” he said.
“We basically want to be the hands and feet of Jesus,” he said. “These very powerful, powerful NGOs have bought all this food, and they don’t actually have an operational arm to deliver it. We’re going to take the food and make sure it gets to the right place, to the right people, at the right time.”
Reaching the villages around Kherson is particularly dangerous, as the area is still littered with Russian minefields. So people are all the more grateful when Hickey and his team risk everything to reach them.
“Since I’ve been here, I’ve done more with the Green Berets than I did in my military career. I’m here working with the population, working alongside them and giving them the skills they need, feeding them, giving them water and helping them grow.”