A former Jackson resident died in Ukraine Thursday, making him the seventh American to die in that conflict.
Pete Reed, 33, was working as a volunteer for Global Outreach Doctors in Bakhmut when his ambulance was shelled Thursday. The area is in eastern Ukraine, an area of heavy fighting since the Russian invasion.
Reed was a retired U.S. Marine who lived in Jackson and worked as a ski instructor at Snow King in the winter of 2012-13 and then Jackson Hole Mountain Resort during the winters of 2013-2015. He also worked as a day camp counselor for Teton County/Jackson Parks & Recreation from 2012-2014.
Danielle Petriccione was his supervisor at the Jackson Hole Kids Ranch.
“The guy was just a force,” Petriccione said from New York on Friday. “He came in, and his sense of humor is unmatched. He’s so witty and smart and quick with a retort that was always keeping us on our toes. Everyone, everyone just loved him. Everyone wanted to be in Pete’s class.”
She said kids and adults always felt safe with him, and when he left to do humanitarian work, the group at JHMR kept in contact with him.
“We were able to raise some money for him,” she said. “We would put out a little hat and say, ‘Give to Pete!’ ”
Reed’s legacy lived on after he left.
“New hires would hear about Pete. We would tell them about him and show videos of what he was doing,” Petriccione said. “He affected so many people, not just those he was directly in contact with.”
Reed left Jackson in late 2015 to begin medical training operations in Iraq.
He started his humanitarian work for Team Rubicon when Hurricane Sandy hit his home state of New Jersey in 2012. His work in Ukraine centered around evacuating and treating civilians. According to his profile on Global Outreach Doctors, Reed led medical teams with the Kurdish Peshmerga and the Iraqi Special Forces for the duration of the Battle of Mosul, treating over 10,000 trauma patients. During the battle, while still operating frontline clinics, Reed worked with others to found and serve as the president of Global Response Management. According to The Guardian newspaper, his patients ranged from 5 years old to the elderly.
Childhood friend Augusta Friendsmith, of Jackson, said Reed was “larger than life” and that he was “big and loud and ridiculous in the best ways.”
“Anyone who knew him would remember him,” Friendsmith said.
Reed’s death appeared to be first reported by Fox News Friday morning.
Petriccione described Reed as a “literal hero.”
“I can’t imagine being evacuated from Ukraine,” she said. “The trust you would have in him. He is so capable and hysterical. It would be the greatest thing even though it would be the worst thing.
“He went out in true Pete style,” she added, “trying to help someone else.”
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