Exclusive: Former Green Beret goes to Ukraine to clear landmines for civilians- needs our support

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East of Kyiv, Ukraine: Ryan Hendrickson, former Green Beret, Silver Star recipient and best- selling author of Tip of the Spear, is on a new mission in Ukraine- to clear landmines and boobytraps to help Ukrainian civilians return home safely.

Who is Ryan Hendrickson

Tip of the Spear
The cover of bestselling Tip of the Spear, available on Amazon.

Hendrickson was an 18 Charlie (or 18C) with the Army’s elite Special Forces. An 18C is an Engineer Sergeant whose responsibilities include demolitions, explosives, field fortification, and a host of other dangerous tasks like clearing land mines.

In April of 2020, Hendrickson released Tip of the Spear– a detailed account of his harrowing journey through the military. He spent years with the U.S. Navy, Air Force and finally the Army Special Forces.

On just his first combat deployment with the elite unit, Hendrickson inadvertently stepped on a landmine, nearly killing him and completely shattered his leg.

The Army told him he would never serve again and wanted to remove his leg and medically retire him. However, a special team of doctor’s approached him with an experimental medical procedure to save his leg but advised him it would be long and painful.

After 18 months and dozens of agonizing surgeries, Hendrickson fought his way back onto the SF teams and conducted an additional 8 deployments as an 18C demolitions expert. Now he has a new mission and wants to help civilians avoid the agony he went through after stepping on a landmine.

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The Mission in Ukraine

Hendrickson has raised money over the last several weeks in order to take on another mission- to use his demolition experience to help Ukrainians return home safely by clearing land mines and boobytraps.

Ryan Hendrickson
Hendrickson is posting on IG live from Ukraine, giving updates on the local conditions. Follow his IG by clicking on the image.

He is currently on the Ukrainian battlefield, east of Kyiv preparing for missions and took the time to speak to LET, via text messaging (the signal was not strong enough for a call) to give updates on this dangerous and critical humanitarian mission.

LET wanted to know is how it’s going so far and is it what he expected?

Hendrickson told LET:

“So far the training is good and we start landmine removal work tomorrow [Aug.12th]. We take artillery but most is not accurate. As far as what I expected, I think my years as a Green Beret prepared me for this mission as I’ve worked with partner forces all over the world and the basics never change.”

Another area of curiosity involves the civilians. Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian citizens have been displaced due to the Russian invasion.

According to Hendrickson, some are starting to return. He stated:

“Where I’m at, there are not many civilians. Slowly, people are starting to come home which is why clearing these mines and boobytraps are so critical. For the people coming back to rebuild their lives, you can see a sign of shock but the drive to rebuild and move on is strong.” 

As an American, it is heartbreaking to watch international footage of innocent civilians suffer from an unjust war. That’s partially what fueled Hendrickson to volunteer. He has the real-world experience and didn’t want it to go to waste. He knows he can be of service to others.

But what are his plans exactly?

Hendrickson tells LET:

Training Ukraine
A recent photo of Hendrickson training Ukrainian forces, photo courtesy of his IG page.

“This week will be one of landmine and boobytrap removal. Getting to areas where civilians are requesting to move back to and getting them safe passage, along with distinguish danger areas [for civilians] to stay out of until more resources and personnel are available to continue the clearance.”

Like any armed conflict and warzones, resources are typically scarce and critical to success and life in general.

When asked what resources he needed to continue, Hendrickson stated:

“Most units here are in critical need of military grade mine detectors like the CEIA and mine removal equipment. We have basic and outdated equipment, but we have been able to adapt to most situations in order to accomplish the mission safely.”

LET is praying for the innocent people of Ukraine and the safety of Ryan Hendrickson as he helps the local populace. His mission will carry on for the foreseeable future and as far as funding will allow.

How You Can Help

In addition to Hendrickson’s Venmo fundraising campaign, LET has partnered with Robert Garland, CEO of Fund the First and created a new fundraising campaign to give any donor the opportunity to contribute and help Ryan’s mission in Ukraine.

The funds will help Ryan acquire additional metal detector equipment to clear landmines and boobytraps as well as additional resources to help him and the Ukrainian soldiers and civilians’

You can follow Hendrickson’s Instagram account to check out periodic live updates on his humanitarian mission at @tipofthespearmh.

And you can donate to the mission by clicking here.

Fund the FirstFund the First is the only crowdfunding website designed strictly for the law enforcement, first responder, military, medical and education community. All campaigns are screened to ensure they are legitimate.

 

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