MARIANA, Fla. (WTXL) — A Florida fraud mother is grieving the loss of her son, who was fighting in Ukraine against the Russian invasion.

ABC News reported that Edward “Eli” Wilton died on April 7 during the battles for the defense of Ukraine in the Bakhmut district. Wilton is from the Marianna area of ​​Florida.

Wilton’s mother, Amy Broome, told ABC 27, “it’s hard to believe it wasn’t just a bad dream.” We reached her by phone Thursday morning. Broom explained that Wilton, in his Facebook post, “volunteered to help protect Ukraine. He was part of the Ukrainian special forces, then he went south with the Ukrainian International Legion.” Wilton was known as “Ellie” to friends and family.

Russia launched an invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Wilton’s half-brother, Parker Cummings, told ABC News, “My brother was very selfless. My brother was very honorable and traditional. He cared more about freedom for all than his own safety. Edward was a true hero and we will miss him until we see him again.”

Broom told ABC 27 by phone, “His biological father’s family is Ukrainian and Polish. I certainly didn’t want him to drive. No mother wants their child to drive. He was determined that he was going to help defend the country from invasion. He felt called to do it.”

Joshua Cropper told ABC News that he fought alongside Wilton in the Ukrainian International Legion from April to early July 2022. “He was so young, but extremely brave. Fearless. We would need three guys to do any task, he would always raise his hand. He was as mature as anyone I’ve ever known,” Cropper added.

Broome also said on Facebook: “He wanted to be a soldier since he was a kid. He was brave and lived by his convictions. He lived his life to the fullest.” In a phone conversation with ABC 27, she added: “I don’t care about anybody’s political position. It’s just important to me that my son doesn’t come home. I know he believed it. He fought for what he believed in. He died doing what he thought was right.”

Broom said her son’s body was being flown back to the U.S., but she did not want to reveal where it would land out of respect for the family’s privacy.

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