PHOENIX - From the front lines of a war being fought more than 6,000 miles away to State Farm Stadium in Arizona, two soldiers from Ukraine are on a mission in Arizona to rally America's support for their country during the Big Game.
The soldiers, Yurii Hundych and Roman Boguslavskyi, were invited by the NFL to attend the Super Bowl. Nearly one year ago, they left their families and careers to fight against invading Russian forces for their country's freedom. They don’t see their invitation as an escape from war. Rather, they see it as a global platform to rally the troops.
"We are here with the mission to represent the army, to represent brothers," said Hundych. 'We are here fighting for your heart. If regular Americans understand why your country is helping us, our mission will be done."
Hundych is the manager of the Ukraine League of American Football, a national league with more than 600 players and 16 teams. Many of them volunteered to serve their country, and seven have died in war Boguslavskyi's brother.
"American football is a great bridge between two nations. Super Bowl is a great chance to remind everybody about what's happening in Ukraine," said Boguslavskyi. "Our mates are still in trenches. We were there two weeks ago."
Former New York Governor George Pataki has traveled to Ukraine, and spearheaded several humanitarian missions there.
"The sacrifices they're making are unbelievable, and it's not for Ukraine. It's for freedom. It's for democracy. It's for the rule of law, for small countries being able to stand free next to bigger nations," said Former Gov. Pataki.
The soldiers will be honored during the big game, and the plan to return to Ukraine the following Wednesday. Before the end of next week, they will return to the frontlines.
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