After 20 months of fundraising, purchasing, and delivering critical supplies for frontline troops, Oleg stepped up for military service in December, 2023 and began sending in these creative works he calls, “War Through My Eyes.”

photo of boots next to a campfire

Soldiers crowd the bus station platform.

Some silently drink coffee, some exchange sparse conversation with their comrades, some sit on the edge of the sidewalk and rest their heads on their knees.

We await our various departures. 

Nearby, another bus begins boarding for a different destination. It’s heading east, to the frontline.

One soldier stands apart from the crowd boarding the eastbound bus. His young wife and two children have come to see him off. The girl hugs her father as if to infuse his uniform with some mysterious energy of life.

His young son is brave, even as his lips tremble and his fists clench. When the driver calls for boarding, the soldier hugs his wife. He hugs her gently, tightly, briefly. He shakes his son’s hand, kisses his daughter, throws his backpack behind his back and enters the bus. 

The doors close, and the bus departs. The soldier’s family waves goodbye. And at that moment, the internal gate of the farewell breaks down. The boy’s cheeks are filled with large tears, and he angrily wipes them away with his fists.

The girl begins to cry. The soldier’s wife covers her eyes with sunglasses — no one should see her tears, not even her husband. He should know only that he is loved, waited for, believed in.

Original thread  from Oleg’s Twitter

You can donate for critical supplies for Oleg’s unit at veretskaya2009@gmail.com (PayPal).

Author Oleg Veretskiy suspended his career to support his country’s fight for freedom. Help us publish his magical coming-of-age tale!

The Wandering Mists by Oleg Veretskiy

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