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Midday Newscast: Former US Marine killed fighting in Ukraine, relatives say

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Published: Apr. 29, 2022 at 1:06 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A 22-year-old former U.S. Marine was killed alongside Ukrainian forces in the war with Russia, his relatives told news outlets, in the first known death of an American citizen fighting in Ukraine.

Willy Joseph Cancel was killed Monday while working for a military contracting company that sent him to Ukraine, his mother, Rebecca Cabrera, told CNN. Cancel had recently worked as a corrections officer in Tennessee and previously served in the Marines from 2017 to 2021, joining the Corps the same year he graduated from high school.

Cabrera said her son had signed up to work with the private military contractor shortly before fighting began in Ukraine on Feb. 24. She told CNN he agreed to go to Ukraine.

“He wanted to go over because he believed in what Ukraine was fighting for, and he wanted to be a part of it to contain it there so it didn’t come here, and that maybe our American soldiers wouldn’t have to be involved in it,” she said.

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