Marine Corps Veteran the First American Killed in Combat in Ukraine

Posted by Brodie Kirkpatrick on

Willy Joseph Cancel, an American actively fighting in Ukraine, has been killed in action, according to his family. Cancel, a 22-year-old Marine Corps veteran from Tennessee, was working for a private military contractor when he was killed on Monday. 


His mother, Rebecca Cabrera, acknowledged that his employer had sent him there and was paying him to fight against the Russian invasion. Cancel joined the company in late February, just before the invasion. According to Cabrera, he crossed from Poland into Ukraine on March 12th or 13th. 


Cabrera stated that the men fighting alongside her son were all from other nations and Cancel’s body has not yet been found. He is survived by his wife and their 7-month-old baby.


Cancel is at least the third American to have been killed in Ukraine since the start of the invasion. James Whitney Hill, 67, was killed in Chernihiv last month while waiting in a breadline. New York Times contributor Brent Renaud, 51, was killed by small arms fire from Russian troops in Irpin just days before Hill’s death. Renaud was not on assignment with the NYT at the time.


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