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American veteran, wife rescued from Ukraine by Project DYNAMO

The Tampa-based non-profit has rescued more than 215 people from the war-torn country.

TAMPA, Fla. — For weeks, Project DYNAMO has been working tirelessly to rescue hundreds of people from war-torn Ukraine and bring them to safety. 

Now, a retired U.S. Army veteran and his wife can count themselves among those safely evacuated from Ukraine by the Tampa-based non-profit. 

Project DYNAMO says team members have been trying for the past week to rescue retired Sergeant 1st Class Robert "Bob" Platt and his wife, who they say have been "surrounded" by Russian troops at their home outside the country's capital Kyiv. 

Platt is a veteran of the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne Division and served in Operation Just Cause and Operation Desert Storm, according to a press release.

Project DYNAMO says Platt told them he and his wife had to shelter in place as "Russian forces looted their neighbors' surrounding homes while their neighborhood was being mercilessly shelled by artillery with Russian tank battalions blocking their roads." 

The ongoing attacks in the area thwarted an earlier attempt to extract Platt and his wife, the non-profit said. Team members say they were able to make it within five miles of Platt's home before being forced to abort the rescue operation when they came under artillery fire. The team says they were able to "narrowly" escape without serious injury.

“Having been on the receiving end of Russian artillery, it puts in painful perspective what the Platt family and their neighbors have been enduring over the last several weeks as Russian troops were literally in their backyard,” Bryan Stern, co-founder of Project DYNAMO, said in a statement. 

“But, we never lose sight of our number one priority, which is to never leave Americans behind, especially a fellow combat-veteran. So we pressed on, devised a new plan and found a window of opportunity. I am proud to say we were finally able to rescue Platt from Russian-occupied territory and transported him to safety in Poland on Saturday evening," his statement continued. 

Credit: Project DYNAMO

Project DYNAMO says on March 19 Platt and his wife made it to and crossed the Polish border with some of its team members. 

As of Sunday, more than 215 people have been rescued from Ukraine by Project DYNAMO, the non-profit says. 

Anyone in need of evacuation is urged to register at projectdynamo.org and register for the U.S. State Department's STEP Program

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