Report: AWOL Navy Seal Fighting in Ukraine Killed During Combat

The U.S. Navy has confirmed that a former Navy SEAL, who had gone AWOL nearly four years ago, was killed Wednesday while fighting in eastern Ukraine.

According to Time magazine, Daniel Swift, a special warfare operator 1st class, sustained fatal injuries when his Ukrainian unit was attacked by Russian forces.

The Russia-Ukraine war launched on Feb. 24 of last year. Since then, seven U.S. citizens have been killed in Ukraine.

Prior to Swift, Timothy Griffin had been acknowledged as the last-known U.S. citizen to die in Ukraine during combat.

Regarding Swift’s status with the military, The Hill reports the Navy had classified the former SEAL as “an active deserter status since March 11, 2019.”

The U.S. Navy would not elaborate on Swift’s “deserter” status, according to The Hill. Also, the military group could not provide an explanation as to why “the former sailor was in Ukraine.”

The State Department also confirmed that a U.S. citizen fighting in Ukraine had died recently.

“We are in touch with his family and providing all possible consular assistance,” a State Department spokesperson told The Hill. “Out of respect for the privacy of the family during this difficult time, we have nothing further to add.”

Swift, an Oregon native, joined the Navy in 2005 and reportedly received numerous awards and decorations for his efforts in the respective Iraq and Afghanistan wars, according to Time.

However, as CNN reports, Swift’s official record also contained a break in service for nearly two years (2014-15), without explanation.

News reports also say that Swift had his Trident pin removed — a major punishment when a Trident Review Board deems a sailor unfit for Navy SEAL status.

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