After nearly a year in Afghanistan, about 200 soldiers with the Appleton-based 2nd Battalion, 127th Infantry have safely returned to the U.S.
Meet member Jonathan Pylypiv! Jon served over 12 years with the WI Army National Guard with the 1-121st Field Artillery. This included being a driver/gunner doing convoy security missions in Iraq in 2006-2007 during the "Surge." He left the military in 2014 when his son was born to give himself more time with family and to complete a degree at Concordia University.
Jon was born in Ukraine and came to the US when he was 8 years old. Being an immigrant is one of the reasons why he wanted to serve our nation and continues to serve in our community with nonprofit organizations. He encourages fellow veterans to find ways to help in their community as part of their "new mission" after they leave the military too.
Jon is self-employed part-time with his new organic farm, as a technology handyman and as a member/owner of a hard cider business. He's also working with others to launch a military/veteran/family cooperative enterprise to support other entrepreneurs
and local economic growth.
Jon has been growing out his beard ever since he left the military and will be shaving it in January as part of a fundraiser to help a friend in Ukraine who runs an organization called Orphans Future. This is a Ukrainian nonprofit that helps children in Ukraine that were deprived of parental care.
Presently, Jon is enrolled in the Nonprofit Leadership Initiative program and says he is learning among some incredible community leaders. He's grateful that the Desert Veterans of the Wisconsin Fox Valley has helped cover some of the tuition costs. The program is a tremendous help as he continues to learn, grow, and serve with others in our community..