American killed while fighting in Ukraine
Willy Joseph Cancel, a U.S. citizen, was killed in Ukraine while fighting alongside the Ukrainian military against invading Russian forces, according to his family. CNN was the first to report the news.
Who is Willy Joseph Cancel?
According to his wife, Brittany Cancel, a 22-year-old former US Marine, Cancel “was excited to participate” when he learned about the fighting in Ukraine.
“He went there wanting to help people, he had always felt that that was his main mission in life,” Brittany Cancel told ABC News in a statement. “My husband was very brave and a hero.”
Cancel worked as a correctional officer in Kentucky before heading to Ukraine. According to his wife, he also wanted to be a police officer or a firefighter.
“I did not expect to be a widow at 23 years old or for our son to be without a father,” she said. “All I want is for him to come home, and to give him the proper burial he deserves.”
An official with the U.S. Department of State told ABC News on Friday morning that they “are aware of these reports and are closely monitoring the situation,” but declined to comment further “due to privacy considerations.”
Later on Friday, State Department spokesman Ned Price told MSNBC that the department is “in the process of reaching out to the family… to acquire more specifics, and to see how we would be able to best support the family.”