Navy veteran Willy Joseph Cancel killed the fighters along with Ukraine’s forces, the family said

A U.S. Navy veteran was killed in action along with Ukrainian forces in the war with Russia, his relatives told news media, in the first known death of a U.S. citizen who fought in Ukraine. Rebecca Cabrera told CNN that her son, Willy Joseph Cancel, 22, was killed Monday while working for a military company that sent him to Ukraine.

Cabrera said her son worked as a detective in Tennessee and had volunteered to work with the private military contractor shortly before the fighting began in Ukraine in late February. She told CNN that he agreed to go to Ukraine.

“He wanted over because he believed in what Ukraine was fighting for, and he wanted to be a part of it to contain it there so that it did not come here and that our American soldiers might not have to be involved in it.” she said.

Cabrera said her son’s body has not been found.

“They have not found his body,” she said. “They are trying, the men who were with him, but it was either to grab his body or be killed, but we would love for him to come back to us.”

She said her son flew to Poland on March 12 and entered Ukraine shortly after. She said he fought alongside men from a number of countries.

Cancel served in the Marines from 2017-21, and joined the service the same year he graduated from high school. While in the Marines, he served as a rifle man and was stationed in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. He had no war zone deployments, Marine Corps spokesman May said. Jim Stenger.

The United States has not confirmed reports of Cancel’s death.

In a statement to CBS News, a State Department spokesman said: “We are aware of these reports and are monitoring the situation closely. For privacy reasons, we have no further comment. We reiterate once again that US citizens should not travel to Ukraine due to to the active armed conflict and the separation of US citizens in Ukraine by Russian government security officials, and that US citizens in Ukraine should leave immediately if it is safe to do so using commercial or other privately available land transport options. “

Cancel’s widow, Brittany Cancel, told CBS News that he is leaving a 7-month-old son and that he went to Ukraine to help other people.

“He just wanted to help people,” she told CBS News. “He did not go over there for money or any personal reason. He just wants to help the innocent people of Ukraine. That was all he wanted to do.”

She told Fox News that her husband volunteered to go to Ukraine, but also had ambitions to become a police officer or firefighter.

She said, “he had dreams and hopes of becoming a police officer or becoming a member of FDNY.”

“My husband was very brave and a hero,” Cancel told Fox News. “I did not expect to be widowed as a 23-year-old or that our son would be without a father. All I want is for him to come home and give him the proper burial he deserves.”

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