Idahoans return from war torn Ukraine

Type of Wood charities delivered tourniquets and other medical supplies
Posted at 8:11 PM, Dec 06, 2023

MERIDIAN, Idaho — Idaho News 6 introduced you to Rob Sturgill and his charity called 'Type of Wood' in October. They were preparing to bring tourniquets and other medical supplies to Ukraine. They have returned with more stories from a country that is literally fighting for its life.

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"This war is still going on", explains Sturgill, who added this trip was different from others because they were so close to the Russian border. "This trip we experienced some things that brought the reality of the war to the forefront by visiting people who live in conditions that are just devastating.”

Russian missiles have destroyed many large residential buildings in the eastern part of the country. Buildings that are no longer safe to live in.

Rob Sturgill's brother Jerry has been involved here in Idaho but has never made the trip to Ukraine, until now.

Jerry describes what his first trip to Ukraine was like. “These are worthy people fighting for freedom and they deserve our support.”

Jerry said one of the most impressive things that happened to him was in a bread line. “We were handing out bread in one village and I was handing out loaves as quickly as I could, and one lady, right in front of me, put a loaf in her bag, and I turned to get more loaves of bread, and accidentally handed her a second loaf. She refused the loaf and she said 'No, no, no, I have money, please give it to my neighbor'.”

And so many children, many orphans have nowhere to go. Rob Sturgill can’t get that image out of his head. “When I’m turning on that warm water knowing those children are back in that apartment building without heat, without light, without running water, I feel a little bit of guilt. So I turn that into a positive by using that to motivate me to spread the word.”

Ukrainian-born Leo Martsinyuk, who now calls Meridian, Idaho home, says it's difficult for many of the children to travel because they have no official papers.

Both Rob and Jerry said when they prayed with Ukrainians before meals they always prayed for America’s help. And that is why Rob, Jerry, and Leo do what they do.