"The main thing is not to lose hope. Hope is a success!"20.12.2023
Even before the full-scale war, Serhii Lukerievas thought about joining the military. But he hesitated to take this important step, and the events of 24 February 2022 did it for him.
Read about what the soldier was doing at the beginning of the invasion, how his family reacted to his desire to join the AFU and his first impressions of walking on a prosthesis in our interview with Serhii.
Serhii, could you tell us what your 24 February was like last year?
I remember the day of 24 February like it's today. It was between 4 and 5 am when the russians started firing missiles all over Ukraine. Then they hit the Dnipro airfield. I was driving a car at the time.
Did you decide to join the Armed Forces right away?
At first, I was driving residents of Pavlohrad to safer areas by private car. Then I started analyzing the situation: what skills do I have, how can I be useful, and do I see myself as a soldier during active hostilities? I decided to join the Armed Forces of Ukraine. But first, I volunteered for territorial defense, and then, I became a soldier.
How did your family react?
I'm not a professional military man, I haven't studied for years, so of course, my family was worried a lot. And I started learning about military affairs only at the beginning of a full-scale war. As they say, "war is an art". That is, you have to learn it. But I still decided to go to defend my country. I didn't go because of any idea, I went because of my soul's call.
Who motivates you and supports you on your prosthetics journey?
My wife is my motivator, she constantly supports me. We talk to each other all the time. She worries about me all the time, and I tell her that it won't get worse and it won't hurt as much! After the prosthetics and all the hospitals, I will return to her!
Please share your first impressions of walking on a prosthesis.
I like it very much! I hope it will only get better in the future. In Washington, we were welcomed very well — a good team of clinicians, specialists, and volunteers. However, my strongest support is, of course, my family! When my wife saw my first steps on the prosthesis in the video, she said she believed in me and was looking forward to my return home!
What are your plans for the future? What do you dream about?
I don't have any special plans yet. My dream now is to return home as soon as possible and be with my family and my wife and continue my work as a driver, if possible.
We thank everyone who helps our defenders return to active life! In particular, to Pfizer Inc., from whom we received 1 million dollars for the implementation of the prosthetics program!