'We will not abandon you': Local chaplain sends message of hope to Ukrainian officers he once mentored
GERMANTOWN, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A local chaplain has been in the trenches with police officers in Ukraine.
Greg Young's been a mentor to several hundred officers there -- his most recent training session was a virtual one on moral injury earlier this month.
From thousands of miles away, social media's helping Young stay connected to the Ukrainian men and women he's trained.
"I find myself in tears at times to be honest with you, with what's going on over there," said Chaplain Young of the Germantown Police Department.
Along with warnings, Young's sending messages of hope.
"Please know, please know that we will not abandon you," said Young.
Chaplain Young is trained in disaster response, there for victims of Hurricane Katrina and Sandy Hook, and coaching officers right here.
As chaplain, Greg Young's been helping police officers learn to cope for 20 years in Germantown. Two years ago, he was asked to take his training overseas.
"And they said we need you as soon as we were getting off the plane, we need to pick you up quick, go get cleaned up at the Tabernacle Church in Kiev," said Young.
A conference that started in Kiev, took Young and his team to several Ukrainian cities at the request of the Minister of Internal Affairs.
"We had that escort go through checkpoints. We saw buildings that were bombed from the fighting in 2014," said Young.
At the end of their trip, an emotional thank you.
"She hugs you with tears in her eyes and she says 'don't forget about us. We want to be like U.S.,'" said Young.
Young received a chilling message this week -- one from a chaplain saying she was going to checkpoints with a good will gesture, tea and cookies, and offering prayer. Help is also coming from outside the country.
"And some people are actually, they're actually using vans to transport women and children or elderly people, whoever's vulnerable, to Poland and giving them sanctuary in basements and churches and all kinds of places. But they're not afraid to go into harm's way. And the fact that this training has meant something to them where they can provide both spiritual and psychological support, you know, is powerful, and that's what keeps old guys like me going, you know?" said Young.