Brunswick County couple honors son killed while fighting for Ukraine

The remains of a man from the Carolinas are back on American soil after dying in battle in Ukraine.
Published: Sep. 17, 2022 at 6:17 PM EDT
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CALABASH, N.C. (WECT) - The remains of a man from the Carolinas are back on American soil after dying in battle in Ukraine.

Crowds filled Brunswick Plantation’s Brunswick House on Saturday as the Lucyszyns said goodbye to their son one final time. Luke Lucyszyn, 31, died on the front lines serving as a medic as he and others fought against Russian forces.

“It’s heartwarming,” said his mother, Kathryn Lucyszyn. “We never expected this. We’ve had people coming from New Jersey, Florida, North Carolina -- but we didn’t expect all this.”

Speech after emotional speech, loved ones shared how they’ll remember the hero who left his home country to help others thousands of miles away.

“Those tributes were written by people who were out there with him and they were unsolicited, unedited,” said George Lucyszyn, Luke’s father. “I mean, some of that was very moving.”

It just showed what a personality he had,” said Kathryn. “The strength of Luke came through so clearly.”

Also in attendance were 20 members of the organization World For Ukraine. Some were refugees from the war-torn country, paying their respects to a man who gave everything to help them fight back.

“It’s important to explain to his parents that their loss, the greatest loss of their life, is not being taken for granted,” said Anastasiia Sliusarenko, a Ukranian woman who gave a speech at the ceremony to thank Luke for his sacrifice. “We appreciate his life. We appreciate his sacrifice and we’re forever grateful for his bravery.”

Her speech and the number of strangers showing their support in the crowd left the Lucyszyns feeling touched.

“That was overwhelming,” said Kathryn. “It meant something, really meant something, that our son did something for them and they recognized it -- and they’re now here for us...”

Three others died in the same incident that killed Luke Lucyszyn while attempting to save his life.