Ukrainian father joins Territorial Defense Forces to defend his country

Sam, father of 2, joined the team in Kyiv
Posted at 12:18 PM, Mar 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-11 21:08:42-05

As the attacks on Ukraine intensify, some Ukrainians are leaving their families to fight on the front line.

Zee's husband, Sam, is fighting for his homeland, while she takes care of their two kids.

Sam and Zee have chosen not to release their last names.

"As a citizen and as a man, I came to the decision to join the Territorial Defense team in Kyiv," he said, "and since the 24th of February I am here trying to defend my land, my people here in Ukraine."

Sam misses his family.

"I have a wife and two beautiful kids and unfortunately right now we cannot be together," he said.

Sam describes the day Russia invaded in Ukraine.

"On February 24, approximately at 5 a.m. my wife and I woke up very early, because we heard two huge explosions in Kyiv."

That day changed everything for his family.

Sam Kiev
Sam with other members of Territotial Defense Force in Kyiv.

Sam, pictured on the left with fellow soldiers, has limited communication with his wife, Zee.

"They're mostly located at a specific point, and they protect that specific point from the enemy to enter," she said.

At first, his family stayed in a church basement with other families.

"The basement there had all of the amenities several families to stay, including shower, toilet, washer and dryer, so we kind of felt pretty good," said Zee.

Sam Zee kids.jpg
Sam, Zee and their two kids.

But after a week, Zee and the other families moved finding other places to feel safe, a tough conversation with the children.

"The reason for being honest was that they would react quickly to me asking we have to leave," she said "we have to get up in the middle of the night."

Zee says this is the first time her husband is not by her side.

"Because we are always together, it feels weird and there's another reason we moved to my mom's," she said, "because it was mentally exhausting to be the only adult making the choices and the decisions."

"My mom has a cat, a sphinx, and we also have a cat and then our friends left us their rat when they were evacuating, " Zee said, "so now we have a bunker with two cats and a rat."

Sam is relieved that his family is out of harm's way.

"They are in a safe place together," he said, "but I believe God will give us strength in everything and we can stand strong."