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Boise veteran, humanitarian killed in eastern Ukraine to be repatriated

The remains of Nick Maimer – a 44-year-old veteran from Boise who was killed in eastern Ukraine – have been recovered, and the repatriation process is underway.

BOISE, Idaho — The remains of Nick Maimer – a 44-year-old veteran from Boise who was killed in eastern Ukraine this month – have been recovered, and the repatriation process is underway, according to the nonprofit AFG Free.

Maimer was a former U.S. Special Forces member who went to Ukraine when the war started to help evacuate citizens and provide aid. While in Kiev, he met Perry Blackburn, founder of AFG Free, a volunteer group that performs evacuation operations and humanitarian aid services. 

In a Facebook post Thursday, AFG Free said the Special Forces community and the nonprofit are working to "provide support until Nick reaches his final resting place within the United States."

AFG Free is accepting donations to support Maimer's repatriation, funeral services and his family expenses. Donations can be made at AFGfree.org, where people must note donations solely meant for Maimer and his family.

The nonprofit volunteer group said information on Maimer's services will be released at a later time, and the family's privacy is top priority at this time.

As previously reported, Maimer and Blackburn – two former Green Berets – began working together in Ukraine.

Maimer is described as being down-to-Earth, artsy - a local DJ in Boise, and someone always ready to be there for others. 

"He just had a big heart. Nick was one of those guys that you run into very rarely in life, he was willing to do anything for the cause to help someone else," Blackburn said. "And he a was very minimalist type of person, he wasn't looking for fame or fortune. He was actually just the opposite of that."

A graphic video circulating online shows Russian troops finding a body and going through Nick's IDs - including his Idaho driver's license. That video is how Blackburn, and many others throughout the community, found out that Maimer had died. 

KTVB asked Blackburn how he would like the world to remember Nick Maimer:

"As a great humanitarian. As a guy that wanted other people to be successful. As a guy that was able to work with so many different people, and to just generate energy in his desires to help people," Blackburn said. "He understood that now's the time to give that talent and wisdom back to the younger soldiers and aid workers so that we could help people. He understood really quickly, he was able to decipher that we had to work with, particularly the territorial defense in order to get the humanitarian aid that we needed into the right places - and that required his presence there. He was willing to do that - sacrifice his time, and now his life, in pursuit of helping others."

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