Brewer travels to Poland to help Ukrainian refugees | Regional government

Senator Tom Brewer of Gordon will travel to Poland in June on a mission to help the people of Ukraine as they fight Russian invaders and try to survive the horrors of war after being displaced.

Unlike his multiple military missions in Afghanistan, where he was seriously injured in an exchange of fire with the Taliban, “this is a mission of humanitarian support”, said the retired colonel of the US army. “It has more of a humanitarian flavor.”

“Help people,” he said. “Make the world a better place.”

The current challenges of helping Ukrainians who fled the Russian invasion and the relentless bombardment that reduced their cities to rubble are overwhelming, Brewer said, “and I want to help.”

An estimated 5 million Ukrainian refugees have fled their country, most settling in Poland.

Brewer plans to fly to Krakow, where he will begin his mission “to help coordinate humanitarian aid”, with a follow-up trip a few months later.

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His effort will include visiting logistics centers and refugee camps and assisting with command and control skills that can be adapted to help meet the overwhelming challenge that the influx of refugees has produced, including managing equipment and supplies.

“When you’re asked to go help, you step in and go where you can help,” Brewer said.

“I don’t know how long I’ll be here. The mission dictates.”

Brewer said he fears “Ukraine is going through very difficult days” as Russian troops continue to batter the country.

“I think the Russian mindset is very different from any other in the world,” he said. “It’s an old habit they have. They deliberately and brutally level cities. They don’t care much about human worth. They do very horrible things to people.”

The Ukrainians “fought very hard,” Brewer said, “and were very resourceful” in resisting the Russian invasion.

Brewer said he wanted to do what he could to help them now.

Last November, despite lingering health issues, including medical treatment for leukemia and the lingering aftermath of serious battle injuries, Brewer led a team of five state senators on an ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa.

Brewer, who represents a large legislative district in north-central Nebraska, grew up as an Oglala Sioux on the Pine Ridge Reservation and is the first and only Native senator in the Nebraska legislature. He was re-elected for a second term in 2020.

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Contact the writer at 402-473-7248 or [email protected]

On Twitter @LJSdon

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