LGBTQ+ Marine veteran fighting in Ukraine

Posted at 10:55 AM, Jul 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-11 13:56:36-04

(KERO) — A Marine from Pacific Beach who's fighting in Ukraine is speaking out in the wake of several American volunteers who've been captured or killed in the conflict. Eddy Etue says the suffering of the Ukrainian people compelled him to sign up for the fight.

The Marine last saw combat in Iraq in 2007. He arrived in Ukraine in April first helping on humanitarian missions before joining the territorial defense and enlisting in the Ukrainian military.

"When it comes down to it, I hate bullies and that's how this started. I can't think of a better cause than to help them fight for their freedom, their very existence."

Etue says he has helped train Ukrainian fighters as well as conducted operations like laying down anti-tank mines or defending a position.

In the past several weeks several Americans fighting in Ukraine have either been killed, been taken prisoner, or gone missing.

"I feel bad for families. I feel bad for them. I came over here knowing the potential consequences of this and I'm okay with that."

And when he puts on the Ukrainian uniform, Etue, who is gay wears, a unicorn patch in support of LGBT Ukrainian soldiers who fear abuse if Russia takes over.

"Every time I look at it, I think about what's at stake here, adds to why I'm here."

Etue signed a 3-year enlistment contract adding that he now plans to stay in Ukraine even when the war ends.