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Idaho man shares his experience on the front lines in Ukraine: 'To see that the destruction and the carnage firsthand, it's heartbreaking'

This was Jerry Jaques' second trip to Ukraine to help.

TWIN FALLS, Idaho — A Twin Falls man is back in Idaho, after he was on the front lines in Ukraine.

“This is really a David versus Goliath type thing, and the sad thing is David is running out of rocks, said Jerry Jaques, who spent three weeks in Ukraine.

He told KTVB, while he was there, he witnessed rockets crashing into homes, air raids and destruction.

“They're fighting with minivans and Toyota pickups against tanks and armored personnel carrier,” Jaques said. 

He returned to Idaho on Saturday. This was his second time in Ukraine in the past year. Back in March, Jaques delivered humanitarian supplies to Ukraine and helped bring refugees back to a refugee camp in Poland.     

“This time, I went over there to help teach sniper class to the Ukrainian military,” Jaques said. “Originally, I thought it was going to be to the territorial defense, which is their equivalent of our national guard, but by the time I got there, they actually decided they needed me to teach some team members that needed help right on the front lines.” 

What he saw, was difficult, he said.

“Emotionally, it's incredibly tough,” Jaques said. “The Russians are shooting a thousand rockets a month minimum into Ukraine and they're not targeting military installations, they're targeting power plants and homes and schools and businesses.” 

He said attacks can happen at any moment.

“The poor families, you can be sitting in your home with your kids at dinner and you don't know whether one of these huge rockets is going to come crashing through your house,” Jaques said.

He adds, compared to his first visit to Ukraine in March, this trip he saw more carnage and a lot more homes destroyed.

“To see that the destruction and the carnage firsthand, it's heartbreaking and then at the same time to see the Ukraine people, they are totally rallied around protecting their country, and fighting for freedom,” Jaques said. “I think the thing that surprised me the most was every single Ukrainian I talked to, every one of them expressed gratitude, and how much they appreciated what the people of the United States were doing.”

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