One man out of Hartselle is preparing to head overseas and fight for Ukraine against Russian invaders.
27-year-old Andy Tai Huynh he says he’s at peace with the decision.
Huynh says he is putting up more than $6,000 of his own money to go and fight for a country to ensure they keep their freedom.
Huynh, who is originally from Orange County, California, now resides in Hartselle with his fiancé.
He is a former Marine.
Huynh says when the war started he knew he wanted to go to Ukraine and help out. However, he says about two to three weeks into the war is when that decision was officially made. He says the breaking point for him was seeing 18-year-old kids fighting for both their freedom and their lives.
"I’ve made peace with the decision. I know there’s a potential of me dying. I’m willing to get my life or what I believe is right. For what I’ve been taught is right, through really my eyes, Marine Corps, through God, and really just what is right," said Huynh.
Huynh says his fiancé was the first to know about his decision. He told his family back home less than a week ago. He says a lot of tears were shed, but they ultimately understood his decision.
Huynh attends Trinity Free Presbyterian Church, where they will send him off with prayer on Friday morning before he leaves for Poland.
Huynh's Pastor Myron Moody says God placed the burden on his heart of helping the oppressed people in Ukraine, and Huynh felt it was time to step up to that calling.
Mooney praised the character of Huynh.
"Wow. Admiration is all I can say for a young man to do that. Be willing to give up everything. He’s already done his time in the Marines, but willing to go and help those folks I think is just a very wonderful wonderful thing telling about his character," said Mooney.
Due to the fluidity of the war, he will assess his next move once he arrives to Ukraine.
Huynh says his current plan is to remain in Ukraine indefinitely.