THEY Mentioned ‘NO’: U.S. Veteran Fred Rubenstein mentioned he was prepared, ready and capable to present his services to Ukraine. (Supplied Photograph)
As someone who survived Vietnam, 9/11 and cancer, Barnegat Township resident Fred Rubenstein didn’t flinch when he read about the Ukraine government looking for veterans from other nations around the world to assistance them in their combat against Russia.
An short article in the Armed service Times prompted Rubenstein to send out an electronic mail volunteering his companies to sign up for the Overseas Legion of Ukraine Defense Forces. An automatic response asked for individual documentation.
“I also had 3 different telephone interviews,” stated Rubenstein. “One man or woman experienced a Ukrainian accent and the other individuals did not.”
Rubenstein stated he felt self-assured he would be acknowledged, But then a handful of days later he acquired this information from the Ukrainian Embassy in the U.S.
“Thank you for volunteering to defend the men and women and land of Ukraine. Just after taking into consideration your application, we simply cannot settle for it because of to your age.”
Rubenstein claimed he was “heartbroken” by the reaction and thought at age 73, he could even now be an asset in explanation.
“I was not heading to volunteer to be a commando or be out on the entrance strains,” he mentioned. “That would not have made any perception at all.”
Having said that, he felt there have been two regions wherever he could have helped. He served as a medic in the Air Force in Vietnam in 1968 and 1969, so he would know what to do in moving casualties from the battlefields to hospitals.
But even additional around to his coronary heart was the reality that Ukraine was was making use of buses to transport both evacuating civilians or military staff.
“Driving a bus is some thing I know really a great deal about,” he stated, noting that he has experienced approximately 50 many years in the bus transportation field, setting up out as a driver and then operating up to various management positions. “You never ever fail to remember how to push a bus.”
At the time of 9/11, Rubenstein was a staff members agent of the Transit Staff of New York.
“Driving a bus in Ukraine would in all probability have reminded me of what I went by means of in the course of and just after 9/11,” he reported. “For 6 months straight, me and any some others in the transportation, law enforcement, fire, clinical and public functions professions labored at Floor Zero as section of rescue and recovery.”
Elaborating on his causes for striving to volunteer in Ukraine, Rubenstein reported Russian President Vladimir Putin “is just like Hitler and he requirements to be stopped.”
“I glance at the atrocities becoming committed in opposition to the Ukrainian people and it reminded me of what occurred in the course of the Holocaust, particularly the way so a lot of civilians and young children have died. I had family members I hardly ever satisfied since they misplaced their life in the Holocaust.”
Rubenstein mentioned he is also saddened by “such a weak reaction so far” from the U.S. and NATO.
“President Reagan claimed it finest, ‘Peace through energy,’” he stated. “Walk softly, but carry a significant stick. Proper now, we’re not decisive. If this was a check, we’d be supplied a F-minus.”
— Eric Englund