Ukraine-Russia War

North Texas Man Delivering Bulletproof Vests to Ukraine

Bobby Parham has collected more than 30 donated vests for the front line

NBCUniversal, Inc.

A North Texas man is answering the Ukrainian people's call for help.

Thursday, Bobby Parham, a lieutenant for a local police department, will begin a journey to deliver ballistic vests to those who need them most.

Parham asked NBC 5 not to name the department for which he works.

Watching the chaos and carnage unfold in Ukraine, Parham said he saw what many have.

“I was so impressed with the way the Ukrainian people have been defending themselves,” he said.

As a member of law enforcement, Parham said he also noticed something else about what’s happening on the front lines.

“You see in the videos they have very little protection. I know that many police departments around the nation have body armor sitting in closets that are expired technically, but still offers ballistic protection,” he said.

During the past month, he's collected more than 30 bulletproof vests from police departments, officers, and even a barista who used to do private security.

“It was a very nice vest and he told me this vest is not expired, it’s brand new and it’s in great shape but the people of Ukraine need it more than I do,” Parham recalled.

Thursday, he'll begin a journey to hand-deliver the vests to Ukraine.

“I am nervous, and I want to be safe but I also want to get this equipment where it’s needed,” he said.

He’ll check the vests in duffle bags with a letter from the mayor of Mykolaiv, Ukraine that spells out why they’re needed and who they’re for.

“Some of these vests are intended for doctors and medical workers who are right on the front lines,” Parham said.

Each vest has the name of the person sponsoring it and a message to the person who receives it.

“That we stand with you, concerned about you, praying for you,” Parham said.

Parham said he knows he could have just mailed the vests to Ukraine but said he wants to take them himself so he can deliver a message, face to face.

“What I want Ukrainians to know is that they are not alone. It may feel like they’re alone from time to time, but I know in Texas we stand with Ukraine,” he said.

Parham also helped ship SWAT-style vests through Poland to Ukraine.

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