ATLANTA — Angelo Rush won the college football championship with Georgia Tech in 1990, but outrunning the war in Ukraine may have been the run of his life.
“We had to evacuate four times to the bomb shelter while there were potential bombs going on,” Rush said.
With Rush’s fiancée and her daughter living in Ukraine, he told me he couldn’t just watch events unfold from his Cobb County home.
He flew to Ukraine in February — before Russia’s invasion — to try get his family to safety.
But they didn’t make it out before the bombs started falling.
“I’ve never seen anything like that in my life,” Rush said. “So when you’re seeing it firsthand, it gave you a sense of awareness, and also to understand that this war was real – and it was happening right now.”
His fiancée lives near Kyiv.
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Angelo told us even a simple walk for a loaf of bread became terrifying when the Ukrainian military rushed him into a bomb shelter, where he spent the next 10 hours.
“On the average it was probably four or five times, bombing during the day,” Rush said.
Angelo and his family started making their way toward Poland, but with little access to cash, they started running out of money.
His friends back home in Cobb County began looking for ways to help.
“I was immediately concerned,” said Rush’s friend Alan Berry. “My wife and I started praying for Angelo and tried to figure out what we could do.”
They found creative ways to send him money through the internet, helping fund the family’s trip to Poland.
This picture shows the line the family waited in to cross the Polish border.
Finally, they found safety.
“To see that smile and to see him back when I came here today, it was just amazing,” said Berry.
Rush’s fiancée and her daughter are still in Poland.
Rush hopes to bring them to Georgia next month once their visas are approved.
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