A Kent infantry veteran who will be on the front line in Ukraine in days says he believes ‘for evil to flourish means good men do nothing’.
George Parker, who served in the British Army in Afghanistan, is about to leave his home in Broadstairs to enlist in the Ukrainian forces desperately resisting the Russian invasion of their country.
George Parker explains why he intends to offer his services to Ukrainians
The 30-year-old, who has worked in pest control since leaving the forces, says he just couldn’t sit and watch TV footage of Kiev and other cities under attack without doing something thing itself.
“We’re giving them the fight,” he said this afternoon as he collected vital kit from an army surplus store in Folkestone.
“Innocent people are dying. I have skills and experience that allow me to help people and save lives effectively.
“I can’t sit around doing nothing and just watch TV, and I think we should do more. So I put myself forward, I can’t expect others to do more and let me sit here. Then I go.”
Mr Parker is a former pupil of Meopham Secondary School who grew up in Gravesend and served in the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment from the age of 16.
He celebrated his 19th birthday while touring Afghanistan – and says he told his family he expects the fighting in Ukraine to be even worse than what he saw there.
“My mum, she’s been through this before, but I explained to her that it was going to be a little worse. So yeah, prepare yourself basically. But yeah, they’re totally supporting you.”
Mr Parker, who is single and has no children, says he has previously received threats on social media from accounts he understands to be Russian soldiers.
“I got a lot of death threats on Twitter,” he said. “So there’s a few things I could say, but obviously there’s a time and a place. But yeah, I’m coming for you.”
Folkestone has become an unlikely focal point for Ukrainians resisting the Russian invasion of their homeland this week, with visitors flocking to G4 Echelon Military Supplies in search of kit for expats returning home to resist Russian aggression. .
The owner of the surplus supply company, a former soldier who only gave his name as Wozza, said: “An old colleague of mine, George, is about to leave for Ukraine to obviously fight for the freedom of Ukraine.
“I look up to him. He’s very brave, very brave. He’s one of my ex-soldiers, he’s been to Afghanistan, he knows what a war zone is and I just hope he will return safe and sound.”