I told my wife I was going birdwatching – she’ll freak when she finds I’m fighting in Ukraine… – The Sun

DOZENS of British war heroes — including dads and grandads — are flocking to Ukraine to take on Vladimir Putin’s army.
The ex-squaddies flew into Poland before walking across the border and heading towards the frontline.
One sniper, who served in the Army for a decade, told his wife he was going bird-watching.
The marksman — wearing fatigues and carrying a Bergen — spoke to The Sun in Medyka yesterday before going to war.
The dad of two, from the Wirral, said: “She’s going to freak out when I tell her where I am.
“I’ll ring her when I’m in Ukraine and explain.”
He spoke to us on the condition of anonymity and asked for his face to be pixelated.
He went on: “The Ukrainian army is being overwhelmed.
“I think people should, if they can, come and support them in their hour of need.
“This is something I had to do. We’re facing a modern-day Adolf Hitler who’s on the rampage and he has to be stopped.
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“I’ve paid off the mortgage, my two kids are grown up. I’ve done what I was supposed to do as a husband and father.
“I’ve got my scope with me and my binoculars.
“The Ukrainians need experience and I’ve got that. I couldn’t sit back and watch this unfold.
“I can help with my background. If I don’t come back, then so be it.”
He was joined at the border by another Brit in Army fatigues and wearing a black beret.
Grandad Ian Parkinson, 60, also of the Wirral, said: “I understand most people wouldn’t do this. I have grandchildren, family.
“People may think this won’t affect them, but it will if that madman prevails.
“Everyone can do something. If you can point a gun and fire it without hitting your own, you can do a lot. The more firepower the better. This is the Ukrainian foreign legion.
“They need our help. I know we have sanctions but politicians aren’t doing enough.”
Ian said he was a former soldier turned photographer and was prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice to protect Europe.
He continued: “There are lots of Brits heading out. This will be the first time fighting for many people.
“It’s going to be a brutal war and unless you’re fully committed there’s no point being here.
“Putin’s a madman. Politicians are doing what they can but the Ukrainians don’t have that time.
“Putin has gone so far down this road that he can’t return. There’s going to be thousands dead.
“I’d rather not die, I haven’t come here to die and I want to go back and see my family and my grandchildren. The odds are stacked against that.”
Ian said he felt compelled to act after watching the Ukraine crisis unfold on TV at home.
Son Thomas said his dad flew to Poland on Wednesday.
Thomas, 29, of Birkenhead, said: “He told my older brother Aaron he was planning to go but asked him not to tell Mum. He thought that she might try to stop him.
“Aaron told Mum but apparently she was OK with it. He has no military experience that I know of — his background is in construction. He didn’t say he was going out there to fight.”
Ian’s estranged wife Diane, 60, said he worked as a builder and had not served in the military since she met him aged 26.
She said: “Even though we have had our differences I do feel quite proud of him. It is something that he would do.”
The Sun spoke to five other Brits waiting at a hotel in Poland for their lift to Ukraine.
One veteran on the border said: “There are loads of Brits coming. Some don’t even have military experience but realise the future of Europe is at stake.”
Courageous veterans and volunteers without experience are flying in from Manchester, Luton, Stansted and East Midlands airports.
Freedom fighter Matthew Green, 46, from West London, posed with his kit before flying out.
Harvey Hunt, 50, is booked to fly from Bristol to Rzeszów before moving into the war zone.
The former lorry driver, who served in the Royal Artillery as a gunner, said: “I’m not doing much with my life and I want to help.”
The dad of two from Minehead, Somerset, signed up 34 years ago and served for over three years.
Wife Georgia Hunt, 29, said: “It’s scary but I understand why he wants to go, and every part of me supports him in that.”
Brits are being urged not to travel to Ukraine but a number plan to defy the guidance.
Former Army cadet Reg Steel, 26, of Ramsgate, Kent, said: I want to help them as much as I can.”
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