I joined four Americans who dropped everything to travel across the world and risk their lives defending someone else’s country

The car is hurtling toward Ukraine at 100 miles an hour, crammed beyond any reasonable capacity. Every space not occupied by bodies is filled by the sort of luggage you bring when you’ve volunteered for a last-ditch battle in a nuclear-age crusade: armor plates, iodine tablets, field dressings, satellite phones. Everything except guns. Those will be provided, the Guardian reports.

My fellow riders – four Americans, three of them former military – are explaining why a person would drop everything and travel across the world to risk his life defending someone else’s country.

“All of us have the same story,” Tay, an Afghanistan veteran, says. That’s not quite true, but his story might as well be the starting point.

A month earlier he was home in Dallas, Texas, watching videos about the Russian invasion, when he saw the president of Ukraine addressing the world. “To all the friends of Ukraine who want to join the defense,” Volodymyr Zelenskiy said, “come. We will give you weapons.”

Tay served with the 82nd Airborne in Ghazni province, Afghanistan. He marched in front of armored vehicles, sweeping for mines, and guarded against enemy motorcyclists. His unit was under constant IED attack.

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