MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP/CBS News) — A South Carolina man serving as a medic in the Ukrainian military has been identified by his commanding officer as one of two Americans killed in action last week.
Luke Lucyszyn died on July 18 in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine after he was knocked unconscious by an artillery strike and fatally shot by a tank, their commander, Ruslan Miroshnichenko, wrote on Facebook.
The State Department confirmed the deaths of two Americans in Ukraine on Friday but did not release their names or further details.
Luke Lucyszyn was the father of two young children – and was known by his comrades as Luke Skywalker, Col. Ruslan Miroshnichenko told CBS News.
Family and friends have confirmed reports that the 31-year-old Myrtle Beach resident Lucyszyn was one of the men who died.
He was originally from the coastal town of Calabash, North Carolina — which is just over the state line from South Carolina.
CBS News reported his North Carolina relatives said Lucyszyn decided to start volunteering as a medic in Ukraine in early April, and had asked them to send supplies, like a tactical vest, after noting that his group lacked proper equipment.
“Despite his young age, he behaved as a man, as a good soldier,” Miroshnichenko told CBS News.