The heard characteristic drew in the imagination a woman with a steely character and an appropriate appearance. So when a thin, long-haired blonde, looking more like a teenage girl, appeared at the office door, I was surprised.
Elena said that in February her husband and colleagues went to the exercises, and only after some time Elena found out that the paratroopers were sent to the territory of Ukraine to participate in a special military operation. Their youngest daughter was only three months old at the time.
– Vitaly was then the commander of the communications battalion. Soon we were informed about the tragedy that happened to his commander – unfortunately, he died. And my husband was appointed to take his place.
According to Elena, she began to help her husband’s unit as soon as it became possible to send parcels.
Any help is certainly valuable, but Elena decided for herself that she wants to send what the fighters really need. And, of course, all sorts of nice little things.
– I always try to pass on some food products that are hard to find there. It is clear that the guys are provided with everything necessary. My husband has never complained that something is missing, he always answers my question: “We have everything.” But I understand that we are all human beings. Therefore, all sorts of sweets that do not spoil for a long time are a must. It’s like a connection to a peaceful life. Coffee, condensed milk, cookies.
Of course, we would like to send as diverse products as possible, but if a humanitarian cargo travels as part of a convoy, then it will take a long time. Not all products can reach. It happens that it turns out to send by plane. Then the grocery set can be assembled more diverse.
In addition to products, as Elena said, warm clothes are very relevant for the guys now, especially socks and thermal underwear. The temperature at night is already quite low.
There is also a need for gas cylinders and burners to cook food. Due to the turbulent situation, field kitchens with hot meals cannot always reach the line of contact. This means that the soldiers cook their own food.
– Recently, by the way, they collected firewood for heaters and bought firewood, – the woman adds. – Thanks to the help of our fellow countrymen, we managed to buy firewood from KamAZ. Kudos to everyone who helped.
– How often do you manage to collect cargo and in what volume?
– Now, when the possibility of air communication has appeared and the guys have begun to go on vacation, we try to send at least something with each plane. Let even one box, but this is important. We here understand how hard it is for the guys, what morale and courage must be to cope with the fact that they live there every day. And our duty is to help them.
Elena recalls that in the heat on the front line there was a shortage of drinking water. Thanks to caring local individual entrepreneurs, the girl managed to send tons of bottled water.
– Do you manage to keep in touch with your husband? – I’m interested in the interlocutor. – You also need words of support from him.
– This, probably, is a reward for me from above for what I do, but we communicate almost daily, – Elena’s voice trembles from the tears that have risen. – The husband is the head of communications. The guys, his subordinates, send me photos, ask me to send them to their wives or parents. My husband is always trying to cheer me up, saying: “You, like a real officer’s wife, must wait, hope and proudly accept all the hardships.”
– Is it hard to be an officer’s wife?
Elena fell silent, wiping her tears, and then firmly, almost in a military way, answered.
– Not. My husband has been working towards this all his life, and I have always supported him in this and will continue to support him.
In June, Vitaly came home for ten days on vacation. Three days before, he extended his contract. Elena recalls that then for the first time she gave herself slack, burst into tears and asked: “But what about me and the children?” After all, the husband could not sign the contract and not return there. To which Vitaly replied: “I can’t leave my guys, I just don’t have the right.”
– And I’m proud that my husband is just like that. A real Russian officer. He tells me all the time: “We are there so that our children do not see the war.”
Elena shared that she and her husband would like both of their eldest sons to follow in their father’s footsteps. The boys are now 15 and 11 years old.
– I really want them to choose this path. This is our common desire with my husband, and the boys themselves also want. Therefore, the younger one will definitely go to study at the Suvorov School, and the older one is going to enter a higher military educational institution.
To my request to tell the story of their acquaintance, Elena admits that there was nothing unusual about her. We met through mutual friends.
– The story is quite banal, but we both immediately felt as if we had known each other all our lives. We fully understand each other and love each other very much. Vitaly does not let me give up, because now I am both for my father and for my mother. And I’m sure that I can cope, because I know that he is my support and my shoulder …
Elena shared that recently her husband, together with colleagues, recorded a video clip thanking everyone who helps them.
– Feedback from the guys is very important. It is important for people who are ready to help our military personnel to understand that this assistance reaches the addressee. And, of course, words of gratitude also inspire us not to stop and continue to support our defenders.
According to Elena, the people of Ivanovo are trying very hard to support their native paratroopers. All without exception: government officials, businessmen, and ordinary citizens. Such unity is very pleasing. The collection was organized even by the administrations of schools and kindergartens.
– You communicate with the wives of servicemen from other regions, do you feel such support from local authorities everywhere, as you have in Ivanovo?
“Unfortunately, not everywhere,” Elena admits. – The other day I got a call from the wife of a now deceased colleague of her husband, who died in the line of military duty in April of this year. He and the group came under mortar fire. She, like me, is a mother of many children.
After the terrible tragedy that happened, she and her children sold an apartment in Ivanovo and moved to Dolgoprudny, closer to her parents.
So, despite the fact that the children received the status of pensioners, she could not simply arrange them in a kindergarten. The management answered that she did not have any benefits and that she had to wait in the order of the general queue. And we all know how these queues move. It’s good that it turned out to connect other people who helped solve this problem. The children were enrolled, and she was able to go to work. But after all, such acquaintances might not be.
At the end of our conversation, I asked Elena to say some words of support for our servicemen, who are now doing their duty on the front lines.
– I would like to tell all our guys to hold on. We will never leave them, – tears filled the woman’s eyes again. – I would very much like our state to never forget about you and leave you. So that everyone remembers how hard it is for you away from families, from children, in the cold. We love you and believe that you will return home soon. That families will be full again. Come soon.