American veteran tells how he’s left his family behind to rescue more than 75 Ukrainians

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American Army veteran Scott McAdams, 47,  set off to Ukraine to help civilians on February 28 - just four days after Russian forces invaded the country

American Army veteran Scott McAdams, 47,  set off to Ukraine to help civilians on February 28 – just four days after Russian forces invaded the country

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An American father of seven has been dubbed the Oskar Schindler of Ukraine for rescuing seventy-five refugees and providing food, medicine and oil to hundreds more in the war-torn country. 

And there’s no end in sight to his mission of mercy.

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Army veteran Scott McAdams left his family behind and set off to Ukraine to help on February 28 – just four days after Russian forces invaded. He tells DailyMail.com there’s no return date in sight. 

The 47-year-old originally from Pennsylvania has worked nearly non stop since then – only pausing when his van broke down and he had to abandon it in the middle of a mission.

Traveling perilously close to enemy lines, he has been buzzed by fighter jets, has had to hide from artillery and was even arrested by Ukrainian police as he’s attempted to save as many as possible.

Coordinating trips so he can take supplies in and refugees out, the humble Army veteran has lost count of the people he has been able to help, but believes the count could now be in the hundreds. 

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Scott has been likened to German industrialist Oskar Schindler, who was credited with saving 1,200 Jewish people from Nazi territory and who inspired the 1993 film Schindler’s List starring Liam Neeson. 

Speaking to DailyMail.com, Scott said being in the field to help people is ‘priceless.’

‘I will do whatever I can to help Ukrainians accomplish their mission and get Ukraine back,’ he added.  

Children who Scott has helped by delivering goods are pictured after he stopped by and dropped off canned foods, pasta, rice and female products

Children who Scott has helped by delivering goods are pictured after he stopped by and dropped off canned foods, pasta, rice and female products 

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An unnamed family who Scott has helped is pictured. 'I will do whatever I can to help Ukrainians accomplish their mission and get Ukraine back,' he said

The father-of-seven left his family behind and has worked nonstop to rescue more than 75 Ukrainians. He’s pictured with the families he’s rescued 

He has loaded up the back of his van countless times in order to make deliveries to Ukrainian families in need

He has loaded up the back of his van countless times in order to make deliveries to Ukrainian families in need 

Scott estimates they have spent $30,000 on the mission so far to bring supplies to families, which he has partly funded

Scott estimates they have spent $30,000 on the mission so far to bring supplies to families, which he has partly funded

Scott estimates they have spent $30,000 on the mission so far to bring supplies to families, which he has partly funded

Scott only paused when his van broke down. Now in a Renault Trafic van, he has already put 25,000 miles on it in just two months since he got the vehicle - the equivalent of driving all the way around the world

Scott only paused when his van broke down. Now in a Renault Trafic van, he has already put 25,000 miles on it in just two months since he got the vehicle – the equivalent of driving all the way around the world

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Working with the charity Host Orphans Worldwide, Scott has helped to support orphanages in Ukraine by funneling in supplies, including medicine, oil and food. Several of the orphanages host special needs kids, who may struggle more to escape the country.

Scott has been likened to German industrialist Oskar Schindler, who was credited with saving 1,200 Jewish people from Nazi territory and who inspired the 1993 film Schindler's List starring Liam Neeson

Scott has been likened to German industrialist Oskar Schindler, who was credited with saving 1,200 Jewish people from Nazi territory and who inspired the 1993 film Schindler’s List starring Liam Neeson

Scott estimates they have spent $30,000 on the mission so far, which he has partly funded.

Scott has traveled across the ravaged country, getting within five miles of fighting forces in the north and only 30 miles from the spot where missiles hit bridges in the eastern coastal city of Odessa.

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In the South, when rescuing a family from the Zaporizhzhya near Mariupol, his vehicle broke down and he had to abandon it to be able to escape Ukraine and return to Britain.

Now in a Renault Trafic van, he has already put 25,000 miles on it in just two months since he got the vehicle – the equivalent of driving all the way around the world.

‘I don’t like bullies. I do not like tyrants,’ Scott said. ‘Putin is a big bully. He flexes his chest and people get scared and we need people to stand up against him.’

The father-of-seven children between the ages of seven and 30 left his wife and kids behind for the journey. Five of his children have been adopted from Ukraine. 

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Speaking about his wife, he said, ‘She knows I do stuff like this. She is scared for my safety. Very much. Which is reasonable.

‘I have done stuff like this throughout my military career – it was something I was just good at doing.’

He's now working with charities and orphanages to funnel in supplies, including medicine, oil and food

He’s now working with charities and orphanages to funnel in supplies, including medicine, oil and food

Scott was in the Army for 25 years and trained coalition forces while on tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. Returning to civilian life, he trained law enforcement on how to use firearms.

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But he refuses to carry a gun while in Ukraine – he says that he does not want to spook locals and prefers to de-escalate any situations that arise.

Scott has used the skills he learned in the forces to help him cope while out on missions.

He has had to take cover from artillery rounds and even been buzzed by fighter jets – one coming so close that he could see the pilot in the cockpit.

This was nothing new for Scott. He lost all hearing in his left ear and became partially deaf in his right after being hit by a rocket in Iraq.

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The father-of-seven left his family behind and has worked nonstop to rescue more than 75 Ukrainians. He's pictured with the families he's rescued

The father-of-seven left his family behind and has worked nonstop to rescue more than 75 Ukrainians. He’s pictured with the families he’s rescued 

One woman (not pictured), who Scott had spoken to through an interpreter, told him: 'We will fight to the end. We would rather die free than to be enslaved'

One woman (not pictured), who Scott had spoken to through an interpreter, told him: ‘We will fight to the end. We would rather die free than to be enslaved’. He’s pictured with an unnamed woman who lost her home and a Ukrainian man he’s helped 

Speaking to DailyMail.com, Scott said being in the field and helping the Ukrainian people is 'priceless'

Speaking to DailyMail.com, Scott said being in the field and helping the Ukrainian people is ‘priceless’

Scott said, ‘You’re always concerned about what can happen. I’ve been hit with with an entourage of artillery rounds or rockets. I’ve had several fighter jets fly real close.

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‘One was 1,000 meters, less than 1,000 meters, and the other one was right next to me. I would say I could see the pilot through the cockpit and he was very low.

‘You just keep your head on the swivel and looking around and making sure that they’re not coming up to do a bomb run or anything.

‘As far as the rounds and stuff I’ve been hit all the time. I got hit many times in Iraq and Afghanistan.

‘Do they make me nervous? And pucker? Yeah, yeah. But I’ve been close. Pretty close.’

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Scott has also been arrested several times by suspicious Ukrainian police, but he was able to show him the contents of his van and convince them he was there to help.

Scott is terrifyingly close to enemy lines and has been buzzed by fighter jets, hidden from artillery and even arrested by Ukrainian police as he's attempted to save as many as possible

Scott is terrifyingly close to enemy lines and has been buzzed by fighter jets, hidden from artillery and even arrested by Ukrainian police as he’s attempted to save as many as possible

'I don't like bullies. I do not like tyrants,' Scott said. 'Putin is a big bully. He flexes his chest and people get scared and we need people to stand up against him.' Donetsk is pictured in ruins

‘I don’t like bullies. I do not like tyrants,’ Scott said. ‘Putin is a big bully. He flexes his chest and people get scared and we need people to stand up against him.’ Donetsk is pictured in ruins

Arriving in Bucha just days after Russian forces left, Scott found himself standing just meters from where authorities had found eight mass graves. A mass grave is pictured on the outskirts of Mariupol

Arriving in Bucha just days after Russian forces left, Scott found himself standing just meters from where authorities had found eight mass graves. A mass grave is pictured on the outskirts of Mariupol

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Scott has traveled across the ravaged country, getting within five miles of fighting forces in the north and only 30 miles from the spot where missiles hit bridges

Scott has traveled across the ravaged country, getting within five miles of fighting forces in the north and only 30 miles from the spot where missiles hit bridges 

The first family he saved came after a plea from a women named Jana, who contacted him through his pastor named Craig.

She needed to extract her mother and grandmother, who were both stuck in Donetesk, Ukraine by heavy fighting in the south east region. 

After saving them, he found that Jana and her fiancé had been postponing their wedding so she could have her family there. Scott went above and beyond and was able to let them get married.

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Eating just one meal a day, Scott makes sure that everything he has goes to the people he saves.

He said: ‘I just try to use all the funds to go to the Ukrainian people. Because, you know that’s who really needs it.

‘They’re leaving that country and they’re having to leave everything behind. So they get one to two bags, and that’s it.’

When he has kids with him, Scott always makes sure to stop for pizza as soon as they are out of Ukraine.

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Arriving in Bucha just days after Russian forces left, Scott found himself standing just meters from where authorities had found eight mass graves.

Yet he was stunned by the Ukrainian spirit.

One chaplain, who Scott said looked like Friar Tuck from the folklore Robin Hood, jumped from a jeep as he was in the devastated village.

Scott said this is the type of thing he's done during his military career. Speaking about his wife, he said, 'She knows I do stuff like this. She is scared for my safety. Very much. Which is reasonable.' He's pictured with the Ukrainians he's helped

Scott said this is the type of thing he's done during his military career. Speaking about his wife, he said, 'She knows I do stuff like this. She is scared for my safety. Very much. Which is reasonable.' He's pictured with the Ukrainians he's helped

Scott said this is the type of thing he’s done during his military career. Speaking about his wife, he said, ‘She knows I do stuff like this. She is scared for my safety. Very much. Which is reasonable.’ He’s pictured with the Ukrainians he’s helped 

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Scott said of the Ukrainian people, 'They're still smiling, they're still resilient. They're still out there, making sure that they're still living their lives and not allowing this tyrant to overtake them'

Scott said of the Ukrainian people, ‘They’re still smiling, they’re still resilient. They’re still out there, making sure that they’re still living their lives and not allowing this tyrant to overtake them’

Scott said that after crossing kids over the border he always makes sure to stop for pizza as soon as they are out of Ukraine

Scott said that after crossing kids over the border he always makes sure to stop for pizza as soon as they are out of Ukraine

Scott, himself a Pentecostal Christian, described the scene: ‘This big old Chaplain jumps out with his big Chaplain hat and his bulletproof vest that was smaller than what it was.

‘And he just he was just so jolly and smiling and happy.

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‘He shook everybody’s hand and pick people up and swung them around.

‘It was just amazing to see that with everything that’s going on they’re still happy.

‘They’re still smiling, they’re still resilient. They’re still out there, making sure that they’re still living their lives and not allowing this tyrant to overtake them.’

He sees this every day as he makes his way through the ravaged country.

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Checkpoint guards younger than his kids tell him how they appreciate his support and solidarity, even though what he does has not been sanctioned by the US. 

Alexander Drueke, 39

Andy Huynh, 27

Alexander Drueke, 39, left, and Andy Huynh, 27, appeared terrified in footage released by Russian forces where they identified themselves and denounced war. The men went missing after their platoon in Ukraine was ambushed by Russian soldiers 

Two American ‘mercenaries’ are currently missing in Ukraine and are feared to have been captured after fighting for the war-torn country.

Alexander Drueke, 39,  and Andy Huynh, 27, appeared terrified in footage released by Russian forces where they identified themselves and denounced war. The men went missing after their platoon in Ukraine was ambushed by Russian soldiers.

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Scott said: ‘One thing that really stinks about that is that they’re going to use that as a negotiating tool for America. I can probably guarantee that they are being tortured.

‘I can be put in that position at any time. I am in Ukraine – anything could happen.

‘I do get scared, but I just look to my faith and to God and just focus on him.’

As he travels back and forward, Scott sees not just the destruction, but the resilience as they clean away the rubble and rebuild.

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One woman, who he had spoken to through an interpreter, told him: ‘We will fight to the end.

‘We would rather die free than to be enslaved.’

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