(KRON) – Horrific images of the war in Ukraine are piped into our living rooms on a regular basis, but there are other stories, personal ones with a local connection. On Tuesday, KRON4’s Vicki Liviakis went to an intimate event in San Francisco called “Real Stories of Ukraine” told by Bay Area residents who went there to help.

Use the video player above to see a Ukrainian soldier in a firefight. He was hit by an AK-52 from a Russian fighter. Remarkably, he survived because of his body armor.  The armor was given to him by Bill Poland of San Francisco.

“It’s hard not to tear up,” Poland said. 

Poland went to Lviv, Ukraine this fall, and what he saw of the Russian invasion broke his heart. He took his grief and started sending supplies straight to the foxholes – flak jackets, helmets and tourniquets to stop the bleeding.

He organized a group called “Real Stories of Ukraine.” They are stories they say you won’t hear on the nightly news.

Andy Kurtzig is a tech worker – the founder of just JustAnswer – who employs more than 300 Ukrainians in Ukraine who he says tell him what’s really going on on the ground.

“Nobody wanted to upgrade their old Soviet-area missile system, and we stepped in and said, ‘We’ll do it.’ Because we’re good at technology and we’re able to make a big impact. And we’ve saved many lives because of that,” he said. 

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Retired rear admiral Michael Baker is training battlefield medics on how to treat wounds and has first-hand knowledge of the horror and the courage.

Ukrainian Counsel General Dymytro Kushneruk says his people are grateful for people like Bill Poland, Andy Kurtzig and Michael Baker who help tell their real stories of Ukraine.