Fordham Alumni Stand with Ukraine: Bipartisan Delegation Witnesses Urgency of Aid Amidst Russian Aggression 


Fordham Alumni Stand with Ukraine: Bipartisan Delegation Witnesses Urgency of Aid Amidst Russian Aggression 

This April a bipartisan delegation of American lawmakers journeyed through war-torn neighborhoods in Ukraine to witness the results of two years of ongoing war and meet with Ukrainian President Zelenskyy, security leaders and humanitarian groups. The visit included Fordham Law alumni Tom Suozzi (‘89), house representative for New York’s 3rd district. Also present for meetings in Odesa was Christine Quinn Antal (‘05), co-founder of Task Force Antal. 

Task Force Antal, a nonprofit group of special operations veterans and national security experts, worked with other organizations on the lawmaker’s trip, meeting with them in Odesa. Antal highlighted the need to secure the port and railway systems to lawmakers, a critical pathway to relief for Ukraine. While moving supplies to the country is a challenge in and of itself, transporting it securely across Ukraine only exacerbates the difficult process of keeping citizens supplied. Antal also brought attention to the U.S. Black Sea strategy, and commitments to allies in the region who are under threat of Russian violence, including Georgia and Moldova.  

While many lawmakers had never experienced the horror of Russia’s war on Ukraine Antal is well versed in the dire situation having spent the last two years leading Task Force Antal, whose special operations veterans have been responding to the crisis in Ukraine since it began. “We’re uniquely equipped to be here,” says Antal, an Army veteran and former National Security Legal Advisor for the U.S. Army Europe in Ukraine (‘15-’21). “We answer the call where others often can’t go.” 

In an interview with NPR after the trip Suozzi, deeply moved by the plight of the Ukrainian people, emphasized the gravity of the situation, saying, “It’s absolutely urgent. It’s a desperate situation.” He underscored the staggering toll of the ongoing war, with over 100,000 lives lost, millions displaced, and thousands of men, women and children kidnapped by Russian forces.  

Antal founded Task Force Antal with her husband after the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2022 with a mission of bringing U.S. soldiers and their family’s stranded in the country home to safety. When Task Force Antal was needed in Ukraine, they answered the call once again. Today, Task Force Antal works hand in hand with Ukrainians to provide lifesaving supplies, front line emergency medical training, and logistical support.  As Fordham alumni, Suozzi and Antal exemplify the spirit of service ingrained in the Fordham community. 

Members of Congress visited Ukraine ahead of the contentious vote on another aid package to the nation, a trip that undoubtably influenced the passage of the bill later in the month. As lawmakers witnessed, the onslaught of violence against Ukraine is ongoing and costing the lives of thousands. “Our mission can’t pause,” says Antal. “The frontlines are everywhere in Ukraine, but between our special operations veteran volunteers, our supporters and the decades of experience we have managing crisis, we’re able to do our part to saves lives, and hope, in Ukraine.” 

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