Former Vietnam refugee, American combat veteran returns home after two months volunteering in Ukraine

Quan Nguyen helped get shelter, transportation and supplies for refugees in Kyiv and Lviv.

By Ashley Soriano | Published May 10, 2022 8:41pm EDT | Fox News

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SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – A former Vietnam refugee and American combat veteran is using his decades of experience to help Ukrainians.

Quan Nguyen has seen all sides of war.

He just got back from two months in Kyiv and Lviv, Ukraine, where he helped refugees.

He says one of the toughest things he saw was an injured four-year-old in the back of an ambulance calling for his mom.

Nguyen is settling back into his Kaysville, Utah, home.

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Utah veteran: Some Ukrainians returning home, angered by wartime atrocities

Apr 5, 2022, 6:31 PM | Updated: Apr 6, 2022, 11:48 am

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A U.S. Marine veteran from Kaysville says Ukrainians are angered and saddened by the atrocities committed by Russian troops.

Quan Nguyen has been helping refugees escape the war for nearly a month. Now, he said, some Ukrainians are heading back home.

“It’s only a matter of time that Kyiv proper and surrounding areas will be cleared of Russian troops,” Nguyen said, citing changes he has seen in the past week in Kyiv. “There are still Russian troops outside of Kyiv, but not many.”

For about a month, Nguyen and other volunteers with have helped with whatever needed to be done between Kyiv and the western border. They’ve helped several dozen families escape, but, he said, some are returning home to discover wartime atrocities.

“The Ukrainians are upset, and so am I, and so should everybody be,” he said during a video interview from Kyiv.

Nguyen said the Ukrainians are stunned and upset by atrocities committed by the Russian troops.

“The murder of people, hands tied behind their backs. The shelling of hospitals,” he said.

Nguyen described that it is hard for the Ukrainian people to comprehend what has happened to their homeland.

“They are reacting just like anybody would: anger, shock, disbelief, sadness. I mean, I saw that and I came close to breaking down in tears.”

Nguyen uses money donated by Utahns to purchase groceries for families in need. He also recently helped transport a 4-year-old boy with war wounds from Kyiv to the Children’s Hospital in Lviv.

“They cannot afford to have any medics in the ambulance,” he said.

So, Nguyen volunteered for the 10-hour ambulance drive. But, most of his time is focused on finding critical medical supplies and a negative-pressure wound therapy machine.

“This is something that is literally life-saving. So, I’ve been fundraising, trying to source these machines,” he said.

It’s a $3,000 machine, and he may be able to get one in Poland. Meantime, he said, the Ukrainian army is retaking territory around the capital.

“The locals… it seems like they’re trying to get back to normal,” he said. “Schools are reopening in Kyiv.“

They still hear air raid sirens from time to time, and it is too early to tell whether the Ukrainians have turned a corner in this war. But, right now, he expects more Ukrainians to return.

“That’s the amazing thing that I feel about the Ukrainians is that they just want to rebuild as quickly as possible, and whatever we can do, we will do it,” Nguyen said.

TF824 is their organization. It stands for Task Force 824. August 24 is Ukrainian Independence Day.

UKRAINE WAR REPORT EXCLUSIVE: Quan Nguyen. American Veteran in Kyiv. From Refugee in Vietnam, to Marine in Iraq, to Humanitarian in Ukraine. The Humble Hero Leading Task Force 824. What He’s Doing to Help. 4 Marines Killed in Norway Osprey Crash.

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Utah Marine in Ukraine helping refugees flee the Russian invasion

By: Scott McKane
Posted at 11:13 AM, Mar 21, 2022 and last updated 10:13 AM, Mar 21, 2022

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SALT LAKE CITY — A United States Marine from Utah is in Ukraine on a humanitarian mission to help those fleeing the Russian invasion.

Quan Nguyen said he was profoundly moved to take on this mission because he can relate to what most of these refugees are going through.

He himself spent time in a refugee camp when his family fled Vietnam in the 1970s.

He said memories like that never leave you.

Former refugee and Utah marine heads to Ukraine to help

Mar 7, 2022, 5:10 PM | Updated: 8:51 pm


KAYSVILLE, UTAH— A Kaysville man is packing up and heading for Ukraine to do what he can to help those fleeing the Russian invasion. The marine veteran plans to work with a friend in Ukraine to help people get out safely.

“I’ve always understood how horrible life is as a refugee,” said Quan Nguyen.

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