CINCINNATI — For Angelina and her husband, Bengals' tight end Drew Sample, the war in Ukraine has hit home more solidly than for most in the Tri-State region..
Angelina, who goes by Ang, was born in Ukraine and most of her family is still there.
The couple are hoping for some way to get at least some of the family to the safety of the United States.
"They're sitting in the dark. No electricity, no lights, no power, they have to turn everything off. In case there's bombings. So they listen on the radio to the news to hear when it's safe to come out," Ang said about her 70 year old grandparents.
Ang said her grandparents huddle in the basement every time they hear air raid sirens go off.
"They're terrified. Because it is hard news is kind of hard to come by for them. They don't really know exactly what's going on," she said.
They live in Chernivtsi. Drew and Ang call everyday to check up on them, their aunts, uncles and cousins.
"We're checking in on them, making sure you know, they're okay, seeing how they're doing it just kind of just trying to distract them, because there's really nothing else, you know, for us to do," Drew said.
One of Ang's cousins just turned 18 years old. He's been told he will soon need to fight.
"He's never even held a gun in his hands. And he might have to report this week and go to a frontline and fight Russian soldiers," Ang said.
Her aunt and uncle are first responders.
"They wouldn't leave. I mean, they're needed there. And they want to make sure that they're helping their community in any way that they can. My grandparents are the same way. They're ready to die there if that's if that's what it means," Ang said.
But Ang's young cousins? The Samples want to bring them to Cincinnati to stay until it is safe to go home.
Right now, they are told they cannot.
"They don't have family in Poland. They don't have family in Europe. You know, we're the only other family outside of Ukraine. And so it's, it's hard these younger kids, you know, trying to trying to get out but then it's like the what's next of you know, you're just basically homeless on the street and in a foreign country," Drew said.
The Samples are exploring every avenue to get their family and potentially others to safety.
They have contacted their senators and congressmen. They were told to apply for U.S. visas, but, they are told, just getting an interview will take months.