This Past January in Ukraine

It was a cold January day in Ukraine. A dark, wintry evening loomed ahead, one of many wintry evenings over the course of the long conflict between Russia and Ukraine since Russia’s invasion in February of 2022. In an auditorium filled with people, some taking pictures, others chatting and drinking tea, a young girl approached a Task Force Antal volunteer and held up her phone.

On the screen: a video of a rocket striking just outside her apartment. “Thank you for being here,” she said. “Thank you for helping me feel safe.”

Task Force Antal volunteers had just finished an intensive front-line emergency medicine (FLEM) course, one of countless sessions TFA has held in cities throughout Ukraine since the conflict began. The goal: to help innocent civilians like this young girl gain the skills to respond when Russian bombs strike their homes, their schools, and their loved ones.

All it takes, all too often, is a tourniquet—but you must know how to use it.

No one should die from a preventable injury. This is the ethos of the brave special operations combat veterans and TFA volunteers who put themselves in harm’s way, willingly entering a warzone to share the life-saving skills they learned as Soldiers.

Since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, TFA has brought front-line emergency medical (FLEM) training to thousands of civilians around the country. Led by veteran volunteers from the United States and Ukranian veterans and interpreters, FLEM teaches people how to properly utilize simple medical equipment that can mean the different between life and death.

Using tourniquets, pressure bandages, and gauze—and fake blood for theatrics—they teach Ukrainians young and old how to prevent someone from bleeding out and dress wounds until further help can arrive.

FLEM methods proved fruitful after a missile struck a railway in Kherson just last month. A group of civilians trained by TFA used their new skills to stabilize someone who had been injured. Thanks to them, he survived.

After a FLEM training session, each participant receives a medical kit with all the supplies they just learned how to use effectively. FLEM trainings are open to anyone interested and held in schools, auditoriums, and even bomb shelters when necessary. Once the training session ends, everyone comes together, sharing stories and refreshments. Their warmth shines a light in the darkness of these times.

Driven by a deep sense of purpose, TFA’s team remains devoted as ever to empowering Ukrainian communities. We could not do it without your support. Will you make a donation today to help fund FLEM training in Ukraine?