It is the goal of these good folks to try and give these displaced and confused kids a shot at a normal summer experience. So I am over here to help with that effort in any way I can. These kids all have some level of English. I am going to make it even better!!!

Please leave me a comment on the CONTACT page if you have something to say!! 


July 23: Today will be our last visit to the Veterans Hospital just outside the city. Every visit there is a very somber experience. It takes a lot of effort to keep a light and cheerful air in a roomful of very badly wounded men. Our excuse is to teach them English, our true motive is to give them hope, show them that many people care very much about them, and just raise their morale as much as we can in one hour. It's a formidable task, believe me. And if they learn a little English along the way, well folks, THAT is a true win-win!

 Our visit last week was by far the best at meeting those important goals. We held an open session and invited the vets to join in using positive words to express their emotions and thoughts, giving them plenty of examples along the way. They were all laughing and joking with each other the whole time. They also told of some of their experiences at the front, and even found some ironic humor there, somehow! I won't repeat any, both to respect their privacy and you do not want to hear them, trust me on this. In the taxi back to the city, all the volunteers always just sit in silence, thinking about the men we just left. Last week, after all the positivity, WE were all laughing and joking all the way back. That has never happened before. It was a great relief and release, I think, for all of us.

 Last week we took the kids on a campout in the Carpathian foothills a couple of hours outside the city. It was a tremendous experience for them. The kids who only look down and talk very little, the kids who rarely participate in any real way, were all......KIDS AGAIN! They laughed, played sports, joked with each other and, at least for a couple of days, left their fears behind them. Lots of bonding between the groups and with us volunteers as well. A truly great experience for them, AND for us....even if I had to sleep on an old sofa!! I will add some photos to the gallery, so take a look at some happy kids!! 

 I also want to thank those who have been making some generous donations to MIHU, especially my old air mail buddy who sometimes goes by the nom de guerre of "Airplane Wayne". Every dollar raised goes to help the program help the kids and the veterans. The summer program is ending, but the winter program is already being planned. NO ONE, not a single person, is paid in any way. Kat runs the program with her own funds and donations, Yuliia busts her butt making it work and we, the motley crew of volunteers, pay our own way completely. The kids and the vets pay nothing for the able assistance of MIHU, and they deserve your consideration. Remember, MIHU is a US registered, 501 (c) charitable organization. So please, help any way you can. Every dollar helps!!! And THANKS!!!!

​July 20; Today is the start of my last week here in Lviv. My feelings are so very mixed as I write this that I have to admit, maybe for the first time in my life that I don't quite know what to say. We Spent the last two days in the Carpathian foothills with 43 kids, trying to give them the experience of just being kids. Not refugees from war, not fearful for their families, not worried about what may be coming because of how selfish and foolish Americans can be. It was a tremendous experience for ALL of us, kids, volunteers and the two wonderful young women who make this whole thing work day in and day out, Kat who founded it and Yuliia who is here, there and everywhere every day. Every day. I'll post a few photos from the trip when the power comes back on.

I want to share some feelings I have about this whole experience if I may. It is something I am not comfortable doing, this sharing of my feelings, but what the heck, this is my website after all!

I have been fundamentally changed in a very real way. I really can't put my finger on how, exactly, but I feel it inside. I have seen the very, very best of people and I have seen the most venal and selfish. I am in awe of the strength of these kids, even the youngest, and in the dedication and will of Kat and Yuliia. The other volunteers have proven to me that there really ARE very good and decent people in this screwed up world, people who are willing to drop everything and come to the aid of those who need it, asking nothing in return except the chance to be of service to a good cause. I am so far beyond honored that these guys consider me a peer I am brough to tears when I think about it. Honestly. I will never forget the children. I will never forget Kat and Yuliia, I will never forget my fellow volunteers....ALL of them. We said good-bye to 3 more yesterday. We all see the summer program coming to an end and know we will be heading home soon, but I believe we are are all very reluctant to go. I want to come back. I want to serve these incredible people any way I can until this immoral war is over. All of their faces will move through my dreams for the rest of my life. As long as there is a need here, well then, I NEED to be here for all of them. I cannot think of a better way top spend my remaining days.

Sorry if I am getting a little deep and personal here, but I need to say it all or I will surely burst. This thing here, THIS, is the best and most rewarding and worthwhile thing I have done in my life without a doubt. My impact will probably not amount to much in the long run, but I am sure I have made a small difference in the lives of those I serve and have served with, and THAT is my take-away.

So, I will be leaving next Saturday, first for a few days of decompressing in Krakow and then home. My beautiful wife Barbara has been so busy getting the house sold and packing up our lives for the next adventure that I also owe her a great debt. When I told her I HAD to come, as inconvenient as it was, she said "I know. Be safe. Come home." Just that. No complaining about the extra burden she would be carrying. Not a word. Just "I know. Be safe. Come home." You just have to love a woman like that!!!

Tuesday July 16: The power has been out more than on lately, making these updates difficult at best. Today I am filled with a great sadness. I am going to see the veterans, badly wounded veterans, but that is not the source of my pain. They are an incredibly brave group, unwilling to let their serious injuries keep them from living their lives in their home country, being with their families, keeping hope alive.

THAT is the source of my pain today. The kids are always filled with hope for their future. They are very bright and eager to learn, to rebuild their society and live in a free country.

As I looked at them yesterday, I realized that if trump wins this election, all hope will be lost to them as well as the veterans. They will have no future, no hope, nothing. I do believe that it is killing me on the inside when I think about their future or their lack of one. All of this, the fighting and dying, the sacrifices, the efforts of countless and nameless volunteers who have answered the call to come and help any way we can....it will all be for nothing. I simply do not understand how this even became a possibility in America. Can someone explain it to me in a way that is cliche-free?? Because I am foundering here

I will put on the brave face when I go see the guys today. I will keep my feelings to myself. They are already carrying such a heavy burden. Thursday we will take about 40 kids camping in the Carpathian Mountains, and I will smile and play and teach with a positive attitude, but my heart will be breaking.

The worst part is a couple of the volunteers I work with are hoping that he wins. They say stupid Nazi stuff like "He's a strong leader" and other utter bullshit. I don't know what to say to them anymore. I tried to argue the point with them and now there is a definite frostiness towards me. That really hurts too........

Wednesday July 10: As I am sure you have heard, the russian nazis launched a massive missile strike on Monday on cities all over Ukraine. In Lviv, the air raid sirens began to wail all over they city and everyone's phone lit up. I was waiting outside a recording studio for Kat to do an interview for her podcast at the time. Everyone just waited to see what would happen next, then went about their day. The people here are more than resilient, that was not a show of false bravado at all. It is a steely determination to live their lives in spite of any war crimes the invaders commit. Kiev was hit twice in the invader's favorite targets: Maternity & Children's Hospital & civilian apartment blocks. 41 people killed, including babies and a mother and 1 doctor. What brave, courageous fighters the NAZIS are!!! One of our mentors, a young lad from London named Ryan, was there visiting when the strike occurred and he hurried to the site to help any way he could. Being slightly built he wasn't allowed to clear rubble, although he was certainly willing, instead handing out water and other supplies to the local first responders. VERY good on you, Ryan, very good indeed!

On Tuesday we paid another visit to the rehab hospital on the outskirts of town. I met a very brave man of 31 named Oleksonder who had suffered a very painful and life altering spinal wound. He learned English a long time ago as a boy, but had not had any chance to use it since then. He loves flying and was proud to show me pictures of gliders he had been a passenger in, including a Czech Blanik, a type I have some time in. When I told him that my Father was a career Army officer and that I had grown up around soldiers, he started to open up more. He showed me where he served on the front, and a picture of a good friend, a volunteer from Israel. Then he was sad and said that he had been killed. He showed me a short video of his last patrol starting out before he was hit. We kept the conversation in English and I let him lead it where he wanted or needed it to go. I think he wanted to talk and was glad to have a knowing ear there. Try as he might, he started to fidget in his wheelchair and I asked him if he was in pain. He said yes, with gritted teeth, and we ended. He said that he had never given a thought to being a soldier in his life, but when the invaders came he immediately signed up to fight. "We are fighting for everything," he said softly as he was helped out. It just amazes me the true and obvious courage and fortitude these men all have. He had said earlier that he wanted to go back to the front in spite of everything, then added with a shrug, "I cannot fight anymore". I will only be able to visit these incredible warriors 2 more times before the summer program ends, but I have some e mail addresses and plan to be a part of their lives as long as they will allow me. SLAVA UKRAINI!!!

If you want to know more, or maybe make a charitable donation, please check out the following links. Everyone connected to this enterprise is a volunteer. There are NO​ paid staff. We all do it for the children. The organization Make It Possible Ukraine is a US registered 501(c) charity. All donations are tax deductible. If you would like to help, it's easy and here's how:

For the website: HTTPS://makeitpossibleua.org/welcome

To donate: HTTPS://makeitpossibleua.org/donate54083264

Instagram: HTTPS://instagram.com/makeitpossibleukraine?igsh=egfhadnoZno2Zjl1  

The power has been off more than on lately, so it is hard to keep to a schedule for updates. My goal is every other day, but the Russians have other ideas. Air raid alerts most nights and rationed power. This war has to stop and it can only stop with Russia's total capitulation. There. Is. No. Other. Way.  

I am unspeakably honored to be here and very proud to serve any way I can. I am looking into picking up another kid to tutor on my off time. I came all this way, might as well pitch in where I can!!

Please let me hear from you via the CONTACT ME tab above. Enjoy your day of missle free peace!!!!!