Chattanooga Police Officers Provide Aid in Ukraine
CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) — Eleven weeks ago today, Russia invaded Ukraine, starting a war that would cost the lives of thousands.
Like the rest of us, Chattanooga Police Sergeant Jeremiah Cook looked to the conflict and saw a tragedy, but he also saw an opportunity to serve.
“I really felt a burden on my heart to try to use some of my first responder skills to travel to Ukraine and try to help in any way possible,” said Cook.
When the chance to go to Ukraine presented itself, he knew it was his responsibility to take it.
“I just prayed a simple prayer — Lord, if you want me to go to Ukraine — I let my phone ring, and within 24 hours another officer had sent me a message that asked me to go to Ukraine with him, and so I looked at my phone and I thought, well, there it is,” Cook said.
Word of Jeremiah’s mission spread among the force and the community, and soon the door was open for seven men to travel into a country at war, their goal to help in whatever way they could.
“These are a bunch guys who are volunteering their time, taking vacation time — anybody can go — and I’m like, when are you going, and we got the dates and I’m like, and I talked to my wife and I said I’m in and never looked back, had the plane ticket by Friday and we flew out that Wednesday,” said Brad Cobb, President of Bowers Automotive.
“Literally the day before we’re leaving to go get on the plane I get my passport in the mail,” said Lieutenant Danny Jones.
They came face to face with Ukrainians showing resilience under the pressure of war.
“Whenever I was in Iraq and Africa, you know, I had this sense of anxiety, while I was there. You know, because you just don’t know what you don’t know. While in Ukraine, not one time,” Jones added.
“Once people heard what we were doing — they may not have much food in their homes, but they were willing to give all of it up, for us to take it to people who may need it more,” said Investigator Hunter Morgan.
Seven men from Chattanooga, delivering food, medicine, and first aid in a country at war — just one example of the work being done to help those who have lost homes, loved ones, and the normalcy of peace.