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One of our own

Although new to Jackson, it was in this environment Gordon Kaleff decided to fight for Ukraine.

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Gordon Kaleff

The last time Jeanine and Larry Kaleff saw their oldest son was in the Jackson Hole Airport near baggage claim.

They had breakfast at Jed’s, then steered toward the quieter, more secluded area. Their son, Gordon Kaleff, was taking off for Atlanta, then Krakow, Poland. With Kevlar vest, helmet, boots, a “kit,” as the military calls it, he was headed to Ukraine to help the war effort.

Gordon Kaleff

Jeanine Kaleff holds a framed portrait of her son Gordon that was taken during his service in Ukraine last year. He liked to smoke cigars at Tobacco Row in Jackson.

Gordon Kaleff

Photographs, memontos and the cremated remains of Gordon Kaleff line a table at the his parents’ home. “He really found his purpose over there,” his mother said of his efforts in Ukraine.

Gordon Kaleff

Gordon Kaleff stands in front of a statue last year in Ukraine shortly after he met Mark Wendland.

This video, provided by Mark Wendland, shows Gordon getting out of the car (back right seat) with a giant bag on his lap, shortly after leaving Jackson and arriving in Ukraine.

Gordon Kaleff

Gordon Kaleff’s friend Mark Wendland took this photo of a bombed apartment complex in Ukraine.

Gordon Kaleff

A Ukranian flag given to Gordon Kaleff’s parents in recognition of their son’s sacrifice.

Contact Whitney Royster at

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(1) comment

Tim Rieser

I am terribly sorry for Gordon’s family, friends and fellow soldiers. His loss, like all of them, is terrible and tragic. And for those of you who recklessly bandy about the term hero; this is what heroism looks like. Putting one’s life in danger to protect other when he didn’t have to. Gordon is a hero. Say his name.

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