Saskatchewan Veteran died fighting for Ukraine, says family
by The Canadian Parvasi
Joseph Hildebrand, a 33-year-old farmer who fought for the Canadian Military in two tours while deployed in Afghanistan, has reportedly died fighting in the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, according to his family.
Hildebrand’s Cousin, Clayton Hildebrand, told media outlets that while serving in Bakhmut, which has become a hotspot for Russia’s offensive in Ukraine, Joseph, alongside many of his fellow soldiers, was killed.
“He was a good man with strong values who stood up for what he believed,” said the cousin.
The family was reportedly informed of the situation when other members of the unit contacted them.
Clayton Hildebrand said his cousin was deployed alongside 12 other soldiers and only three of them made it back alive.
The city of Bakhmut has been under attack for months now, with Ukraine’s deputy defence minister deeming it the “epicentre’ of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine. Media reports suggest that only 15,000 people remain in the crisis-ridden city, with is regularly subject to shelling by Russian forces.
Global Affairs Canada has taken notice of the demise of a Canadian in Ukraine, as acknowledged by Marilyne Guevremont, a spokesperson with the organisation. However, Global Affairs is yet to identify the person.
“He felt compelled to go over there and help the Ukrainian people, “said Clayton, adding that the family had no affiliation with Ukraine and that Joseph volunteered for humanitarian reasons.
Speaking to media outlets, Clayton Hildebrand emotionally recalled the local school students writing letters to his cousin while he was deployed.