Supporting Ukraine causing controversy among veterans

Veteran organizations say vets have mixed reaction to the possibility of sending troops to eastern Europe.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Some veteran organizations are keeping a close eye on the escalating tension between Russia and Ukraine, saying the possibility of sending U.S. troops has created some controversy.

Organizations like Veterans Club INC. and Lady Veterans Connect have been talking with Kentucky vets about the possibility of sending troops to help in the Russia-Ukraine crisis and there’s mixed reaction.

“I have concerns about it, and you know, is 8,500 enough?” says Phyllis Abbott, director of Lady Veterans Connect.

“So many times, we try to police and be heroes to the world, but we need to be heroes to America right now,” says Jeremy Harrell, founder and CEO of Veterans Club INC.

Veterans like Harrell say there’s too much going on in our own backyard that troops would be better used for, like helping at our southern border and finding a way to end violence in our own cities.

“There’s just so much, a laundry list, that should be higher priority than what’s happening so far away,” says Harrell.

On the flip side, veterans like Abbott say more than 8,500 troops need to be sent because if we don’t get NATO support, this mission could be a death sentence as our soldiers meet roughly 100,000 Russian troops at the Ukrainian border.

“They’re trained to go and to battle and we’re not in a battle in the United States,” says Abbott.

While the Biden administration is weighing its options, Senator Mitch McConnell says he would advise the president to send NATO troops as soon as possible, including some of the U.S.’s, into eastern European countries like Poland, Romania and the Baltic states.

“Once the Russians have grabbed a piece of Ukraine or try to overthrow the entire government, it’s really too late,” says McConnell.

One thing veterans can agree on here? Keeping our soldiers safe needs to be top priority.

“I’m concerned about them sending into harm’s way rather than being able to accomplish a mission,” says Abbott.

“I just think that we’re putting lives at risk and we don’t take that serious enough,” says Harrell.

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