SEATTLE - The war in Ukraine has turned into an old-fashioned artillery war.
Up until this point Russia has had the advantage when attacking at range, but with new American aid on the way, Ukraine's position is strengthening.
As many are stepping up to help Ukraine, FOX 13 News spoke with Branden, a Seattle Army veteran who traveled to Ukraine to help with humanitarian efforts.
Branden has since returned as thousands of miles away, airstrikes are seen hitting Ukraine.
He says in the three weeks he was in Lviv, neighborhoods were rocketed twice.
"In the really dangerous areas, we'd hand off medical supplies to a lot of guys that were ex-Swedish special forces, and then they would take the supplies and get them right to the front," Branden said.
While there, he used special applications to track the state of the country, warnings he paid close attention to in Lviv while he helped guards, families and refugees, as the war-torn country continues to fight Russia.
(Photos courtesy of Branden)
The Washingtonian has some paramedic knowledge; he used it to help train border guards and other residents, including children, how to effectively use a tourniquet in case someone was seriously hurt, and bleeding needed to be stopped.
"You're talking little kids, that their brothers or their friends are off fighting, the war affects everybody," Branden said.
After three weeks, he went to Poland, where he continued his work helping refugees near the Medyka Border.
His work there focused on families, their needs and helping get them to safety.
Sometimes, he says it meant helping carry women and elderly's livelihoods for 12 to 16 hours.
However, he says as families fled, they faced another threat—human trafficking.
"They're not overt about it, a lot of times they use other women, all they want to do is get to a safe spot and if you have another woman offering you a ride, a lot of times people will accept," said Branden.
The last week he was there, Branden says he saw a paradigm shift. It wasn't a mass of people arriving at the Polish border to flee Ukraine, but instead coming home.
"That's their home, they want to go they want to go back to their home," said Branden, "they all want to fight for it, however way they can."
In the midst of uncertainty, Ukrainians are taking their lives back, celebrating, singing and dancing in the street.
Their spirits counter the reality of their situation.
"The more the Russians bomb, the stronger their will to fight is," Branden said.
Branden says he's touched by Ukrainians and their will to fight.
There is still more work to be done, and Branden said he is now planning a return trip to continue to help in any way he can.
"There's no deed or help that you can do that's too small," Branden said.