POLAND (KION-TV) – A Carmel Valley man fled Ukraine with the help of a US congressman from Southern California and is now receiving help from Congressman Jimmy Panetta to bring him back to the States United with his wife
Bryan Showalter is currently staying at a hotel in Poland that is jam-packed with refugees.
“Yesterday we saw a car hit by a bomb and in the back seat there were skeletons of burnt children. And people whose skin had fallen off,” Showalter said of the media coverage he at sight.
Showalter was in Ukraine where he visited several times and met the love of his life. He and his wife have been married since August. They applied for his visa more than six months ago.
He never planned to stay in Ukraine forever, but after pleading with the US Embassy for a visa and being refused, he fled in despair.
Congressman Mike Garcia heard of Showalter’s predicament and decided to help by guiding him on when to leave and which routes to take to avoid Russian resistance.
“When someone in government tells you how to get to safety, you follow them,” Showalter said.
Showalter is now buying ammunition, bulletproof vests, baby food and diapers to help the Ukrainians.
The final hurdle in Showalter’s path to the United States is a visa approval for his wife’s dog.
Currently his wife and dog are in Ukraine, a country with a rabies problem and it is difficult to apply for a dog visa.
Thanks to the help of Congressman Jimmy Panetta, visas have been issued to Showalter, his wife and his dog and they have one month to leave Poland.