Port Hope Man Leaves Wife and Three Young Children to Help People of Ukraine

In Editor Choice, Local, National, Photo Gallery

Twenty-nine-year-old Antony Walker couldn’t watch the images on television any longer.

He and his wife Rebecca, like others around the world have been glued to any news coming out of the Ukraine.

“She could tell it was bothering me,” Walker said as he is currently at a camp for refugees by Medyka, Poland border, just meters from the Ukraine.

“Eventually she just asked if I decided to go.”

Thinking about it momentarily, Walker said to his wife, “if it were Canada we’d want someone to come help us.”

But Walker realized, it would never happen in Canada because of our allies.

“It’s not like they asked Russia to be their neighbour. It’s not their fault they were born into the Baltics. Every country in the world should have what Canada has or better. Even the Russians.”

Walker said his wife doesn’t like that he’s there, but she does understand why he is.

“She sees the pictures and knows the importance of what I’m doing. But she was a wreck at first.”

Walker left his wife and three young children aged two, five and seven-years-old on Saturday not knowing when he’ll return.

Not knowing anyone from Ukraine, or having ever been there – Walker hastily planned for the trip.

For the last two years, Walker has been a comedian, “posting stupid videos on Twitter,” he said.

With that, he’s had a following of people on social media and through that is how it helped him with his journey.

Walker said he had no plans on how to get to Ukraine, but posted on Twitter that he had intended to go.

He received a message from Ukrainian tennis player Sergiy Stakhovsky saying he was going home to join the Ukrainian military reserves.

Walker said the tennis star went back home early and he never did meet up with him.

Walker flew into Hungary, then, with the help of a taxi driver and through social media, Walker travelled to Poland where he will be until other Canadian people join him, then they will be travelling into Ukraine in a few days.

Walker tried joining the Canadian Armed Forces three years ago, but was turned down because of a blood disorder.

Having no military background, Walker believes when he travels to the Ukraine he will see combat action.

Since he does have a background in para-medicine he’s been tending to the refugees that come across the border.

Walker said only speaking English hasn’t been a problem at the camp which has approximately 400 refugees.

“There is enough English speaking people here that it’s not a problem.”

Proudly wearing the Canadian flag, Walker said a number of people have commented how they can’t believe how far he’s come to help.

There used to be a four day wait coming across the border by foot, but has since gone down to groups of 20 to 30 people.

“Once we get into the red zone (Ukraine) I’ll be de-badging entirely. Just for the sake, if I’m captured or if there are pictures then there could be “oh there are NATO forces in the country.”

Speaking to Walker on Tuesday night, which was Wednesday morning his time, he said there have been a lot of people with hypothermia with two collapsing.

“A lot of these people eating on their trip, just because there is nothing to eat or drink. It’s not a great situation here for them.”

Most of the people that Walker has spoken with are from African countries who are in Ukraine for schooling.

“Unanimously the narrative is that Ukranian’s treat them like dogs.”

“They are literally thrown pieces of food. Like a cracker.”

Walker says he hasn’t seen it personally, but that’s the story the people coming across are telling him.

Walker said he has witnessed approximately 99 percent of the people coming across are white Ukrainians and the Polish border guards carrying their luggage.

“The Ukrainians coming out are treated excellent. Africans, not so much.”

When he came back to the camp on Tuesday morning he heard there was a fight at the camp where a woman was stabbed.

“People that had come across that were desperate for food and water – they felt they needed to get in front of other people and it turned into a fight.”

Supplies were also destroyed.

While speaking to Today’s Northumberland two Polish men came up appearing to want vengeance for the woman who was stabbed claiming it was a black person that stabbed the woman.

One of the men told Walker he was lying, but Walker persistently told the men the people sleeping in the tents weren’t the culprits.

“I have a big problem with black people,” said one of the men.

“We want to protect our family.”

Walker calmly says, “in Poland is there crime?”

Both men agree.

“That’s my point,” says Walker.

“You can’t just say every white person is bad because a white person commits a crime. You can’t to that with black people either.”

Both men again state they want to protect their families, but Walker reassures them that the people at the camp will keep an eye out.

“If you take it into your own hands, you’re no better than they are. Don’t start anything. We’ll take care of it. We’re here for that.”

The two men leave shortly after.

Being close to the town of Medyka, Walker has gone to pick up and purchase supplies they need.

“Because people are donating stuff we don’t need.”

Walker says they have a lot of baby food, but there are not very many babies coming through at this time.

“People want to donate because they feel like they are helping kids, but we just don’t have that many.”

On Wednesday, he plans to go buy socks, pillows, gloves and hand warmers. Even though the camp he is at has a generator, there needs to be one in the medical tent.

When international and Canadian media has bee at the camp, Walker says, “they make it look really, really good, but the first thing someone said when I got here was, “this is not organized at all.”

Currently Walker isn’t working under the direction of anyone, but with medics they’ve one the best they can with what they have.

The first day, Polish paramedics were there and had set up a tent, but to his surprise, they left later in the day.

So Walker and a few people he’s met who have little medical experience took shifts overnight.

At present, Walker is waiting for combat veterans from Canadian. They then plan to go to Kyiv in the Ukraine.

“We’ll do whatever is necessary there.”

Because trains take very specific routes, it’s unknown if Walker and his group will take alternate transportation.”

At this time, Walker is helping out with his medical background, but the further he goes into the Ukraine, that could change to fighting.

“The further we go in, the more of a combat role I’ll take on.”

“The way I see it, if Ukraine falls I don’t think Putin will stop there.”

“If Ukraine falls, it will chain reaction into World War III. And my family won’t survive a nuclear war so I have to try and stop it anyway I can.”

 

Note: After speaking with Today’s Northumberland, Walker went over briefly to Ukraine and took photos of people waiting in line to cross the border into Poland

Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

Has been a photojournalist for over 30-years and have been honoured to win numerous awards for photography and writing over the years. Best selling author for the book Highway of Heroes - True Patriot Love

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