The Ukrainian colonel's journey to Maryland began on a hilltop a few miles from the Russian border, artillery shells crashing down all around him.
Col. Ihor Hordiychuk was sent to hold the strategically important hill last August against Russian-backed separatists. His mission was to stop the advance of the rebels, who were trying to wrest the eastern part of the country away from the central government in Kiev.
He did not succeed.
Surrounded by the rebels, Hordiychuk's special forces unit held the hill for a week, according to a Ukrainian government account. As comrades broke through the encirclement to rescue the troops, Hordiychuk was badly wounded. He said Sunday...