My husband Bill is a retired physician and USAF "Bird" Colonel. With 43 years of medical and military mojo, he was chomping at the bit to help with Ukraine's overwhelming refugee crisis. Although Bill is no spring chicken, he was hell bent to don a stethoscope, fly wherever, and do what doctors do—save lives. So I surfed the Web on how to get him to Poland, where thousands need help.
One medical group required applicants to commit to six-to-nine months service, but I said no to that one. The time factor was the deal-breaker, not to mention that they wanted Bill to speak French. The International Red Cross wanted volunteers to join a local chapter first, get Red Cross training, and, months down the line, help others in our community if disaster strikes.
Then again, I've seen in the news that volunteers from this or that service group are heading overseas. Being part of a group seems to be the ticket, but Bill has never been much of a joiner. So, I thought, well, I'll just fly him and his CV, DD214, Military ID, and passport to Poland. With his credentials as a military base hospital commander, he could at least pitch in at a refugee facility. But it takes four weeks to get a visa to Poland, that is, if you can get one without a sponsor.
Over and above these brick walls, there's the language issue. Poland has a website telling people how to volunteer or donate, but the English version was written by someone who does not speak a lot of English. From what I could glean, Poland prefers donations, not more foreigners to deal with.
Chagrined, Bill is staying home. Admittedly, I'm relieved. To do what we can, we've donated to groups like Doctors Without Borders, CARE, and Save the Children. I hope that will soothe Bill's warrior spirit. Hopefully he'll sign up for a service organization like Red Cross or Rotary, so the next time he wants to save the world, he'll have a platform from which to do it.
As they say, a true warrior never dies, and I admire my Hubster-warrior's fighting spirit.