62-Year-Old Michigan Man Heads To Ukraine To Fight
Bad ass. That's the best way to describe a 62-year-old Michigan man, who has signed up to fight in Ukraine.
While countless folks virtue signal their support of Ukraine in their battle against invading Russian forces, one Michigan man thought that was not enough.
He lived in the Ukraine for three years
M. Dujon Johnson understands the toughness the Ukrainians have showed in their war with Russia, he saw it first hand as a Peace Corps volunteer to the nation in 2018.
It's that familiarity that caused Johnson to go a step further than most when showing his support. He contacted people who he had worked with, and arranged to go over as a citizen volunteer and fight in battle alongside the Ukrainian army.
Johnson is no newbie when it comes to the military. He trained for combat as a member of the U. S. Army and served from 1977 until 1980, part of his tour of duty included Europe.
But it was his recent service and connections he made with the Peace Corps a few years back that made him apply to fight.
"My job was to train university professors in how we bring transparency and democracy in the classroom," Johnson said to the Free Press.
Johnson Will Fight Alongside Ukrainian Citizens
And make no mistake about it, Johnson is going to fight.
"That's the purpose. It's not humanitarian, it's actually going to fight. I'll be issued a weapon once I once I get there," Johnson told the Detroit Free Press Tuesday.
Johnson flies out Wednesday for Amsterdam, and then to Poland, where he will cross the border into Ukraine.
The World Has Showed Up To Fight For Democracy
So far over 16,000 people from around the world have signed up to fight for Ukraine, after Ukrainian President Volovdomyr Zelenskyy put out the signal for anyone and everyone who could pitch in to help stave off the invasion.
It's unclear how many are Americans.
“Anyone who wants to join the defense of Ukraine, Europe and the world can come and fight side by side with the Ukrainians against the Russian war criminals,” Zelenskyy said shortly after the start of hostilities.
His Family and Friends Tried To Talk Him Out Of It
Johnson admitted his wife and kids are "100% opposed" to Johnson volunteering to fight.
A high school dropout who was at one time homeless, Johnson turned his life around and eventually became a world traveler who is versed in both Russian and Chinese languages.
Members of the Ukrainian Church in Detroit offered prayers for Johnson on Sunday, and they are proud of his involvement.
And Johnson said he's taking something with him: His Michigan toughness, telling the Frees Press:
"I was forged in Detroit. It's something about Detroit. ... If you can make it out of Detroit ... you can make it anywhere. It's such a gritty, hard (place) but down to earth, kind of what you see is what you get. And one of the reasons why I've been able to really blend into every society ... is the values that you get from Detroit: hard work, no flash, honest straight to your face, not prissy, but not too hard. ... I would not be this person had I not grown up here."
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