Former Marine Jon Barton has a brand new mission. The seasoned technical advisor for Hollywood productions (JAG, NCIS) and celebrities — together with Tom Cruise, Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth — has been coordinating shipments of army gear to help Ukraine’s resistance to Vladimir Putin’s Russian invasion.
The Iraq War veteran briefly thought-about volunteering for the International Legion of Territorial Defense of Ukraine. But when his pal, seasoned stunt man Shawn Balentine (Birds of Prey), advised he would possibly spare further camouflage uniforms, his focus shifted. “A light bulb went off,” says Barton, whose consulting and rental agency Night-Fire maintains a stockpile of army gear. “I can do more from here [in the U.S.], with my professional network of fellow veteran entrepreneurs that are scattered all over the country. The Ukrainian government was asking for this stuff, and we can supplement from the private sector.”
By his account, he’s since relinquished 80 % of the stock from his Ventura County warehouse — a whole bunch of uniforms, knee pads, boots, rifle slings and load-bearing tactical vests — to the warfare effort, working with L.A.’s Ukrainian Culture Center to ship it by way of Warsaw after which into the embattled nation through the logistics firm Meest Group. “They guaranteed me it would go to Kyiv,” he says, noting that he was restricted to delivery defensive materials, which suggests no weapon components.
Since phrase started circulating of his effort, he’s acquired packing containers of tactical and different gear (emergency blankets, fire-starting kits, and so on.) from civilians throughout the nation — “vets that are desperately wanting to help the Ukrainians in any way they can.” In flip, he’s up to now provided 30 American volunteers of the International Legion, from Washington State to South Carolina, with a variety of kit mailed through FedEx: chilly climate apparel, binoculars, radios, flashlights. “I happened to have it,” he says. “They don’t expect it from a person in Hollywood.”
Now Barton’s hoping that larger gamers comply with swimsuit. “I know what the studios have,” he says. “I’m just the little guy. Imagine what they can do. They might think of what they have as costumes. They’re uniforms.”