LYNCHBURG, Va. – Law enforcement agencies from all over the Commonwealth are joining the fight for Ukraine, putting their old gear to good use.
Several gathered at the Lynchburg Sheriff’s Office Tuesday morning to pack up supplies, which included nearly 500 pieces of body armor.
For one local officer, the gesture means a little more.
“The situation is very difficult. We don’t know what’s tomorrow. I don’t know if I will get a call from Sasha tomorrow,” Ilona Penner says. “All we have left is to go day-by-day and pray. They’re not going to give up. We here need to not give up helping them, too.”
The tears Penner sheds are for her 20-year-old cousin, Sasha, and the thousands of others fighting alongside him in Ukraine.
When she puts on a uniform for Liberty University Police each day, she says she can’t help but think of how her loved ones back home go without it.
“Imagine yourself in your 20s. Imagine all the ambitions you have, all the things you want to do and how excited you are about life,” she says. “Now imagine all of a sudden being given a gun and being told if you want a future you have to go and protect. You have to fight.”