UKRAINE -- After spending more than a week sick and being cared for a Ukrainian family, David Brymer is back near the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, continuing his work of training medics for the Ukrainian military.
"It's exhausting," said the Williamson County native. "We're trying to build an adequate training plan for a military that is less than two years old."
Brymer, who is a survivor of bladder cancer, suffered a urinary tract infection, what he says is a common aftermath of his cancer. It is usually easily treated with antibiotics.
However, those are in short supply in Ukraine that has been ravaged by Russian forces that invaded the country on Feb. 24.
"What's happened here is beyond devastating," said Brymer. "This is like when Germany invaded Poland in World War II."
Brymer is in Ukraine doing what he can to help a county that is facing devastation at the hands of Putin's forces.
"It's bad," said Brymer. "They are creating chaos. There are splinter cells. Sometime you don't' know who to trust."
However, Brymer is quickly becoming the guy who can help.
"People recognize me," he said, "people I've trained, families and connections I've met."
Plus, he's been on more than a dozen European news programs in the month he's been in Ukraine.
He's also grateful for the help from America, particularly from southern Illinois.
Members of the Benton VFA and American Legion Post 280 collected several thousand dollars in medical supplies that were dropped in Little Rock, AK, last week.
Post commander Mike Cross has taken charge of that effort, making connections with the Arkansas businessman who is sponsoring regular humanitarian aid flights to the devastated country.
Brymer said he feels the war is about to get "really bloody."
"I think the bloody one is going to be next,' he said, talking about the battles in and around Kyiv, the Ukrainian capitol. "If they (the Russian forces) push hard on the east side of Kyiv and down fro Belarus it will cut the supply chain. That's what I see happening."
Brymer said his immediate need is other than more medical supplies is cash to try and help locals that don't have the funds to finance a way to safety. He says that cost is about $130 U.S. dollars.
"I also need to purchase myself some body armor," he said. That is around $310 U.S. dollars.
He is currently working in target areas with no personal protection, but says he will continue to work, with or without the armor.
"I came here to help and I'm committed to sticking it out," he said.
Brymer believes it's possible the Russians will level Kyiv if they can't take control of it in the next push.
He shakes his head as he walks through a decimated apartment building, pushing aside remnants of family heirlooms.
"I came here to help," he said. "I can't walk away now."