SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Lane Perkins is a U.S. Navy veteran living here in San Diego.
He's leaving behind a wife and two-year-old son for five months to join a group called Task Force Yankee: Ukraine.
"I originally wanted to come even before the actual war started," Perkins said. "As soon as the notification came that it was going to happen, I told my wife I was going to come out here."
It's a group of mostly veterans who wanted to help either humanitarian or military efforts in-country.
"I am in Kyiv. In the city, I've been here for about a week," he said. "Running things around, taking supplies to people who need it."
Perkins has been in Ukraine since March 5. He's seen quite a bit in his time there.
"I've seen thousands and thousands and thousands of refugees,” Perkins said. "Every night here in Kyiv, you hear the explosions from all of the bombs and attacks that happen here."
Seeing the thousands of people flee Ukraine assures Perkins that he's doing the right thing
"I would always hope that if it was the other way around, I would want somebody to do the same for my family,” Perkins said.
One of the coordinators for Task Force Yankee: Ukraine told ABC 10 News that those who sign up to help are putting others before themselves.
"It says a lot about their character. It says a lot that they're not going to stop just because our government has chosen not to get involved,” Joshua Curry, Stateside Coordinator for Task Force Yankee: Ukraine, said.
As the war in Ukraine has been going on for more than a month, Perkins said the resilience and strength of the Ukrainian people as be remarkable to see.
"Everybody's in this together. They know what the consequences of losing are and nobody wants to take that step backwards towards the Soviet Union or totalitarianism," Perkins said.