STATEN ISLAND, New York (WABC) -- The war in Ukraine may seem like it's on the other side of the world, but it's closer than you might think.
Wounded Ukrainian soldiers are being treated at Staten Island University Hospital, where President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited this week, thanking everyone involved with caring for and supporting his soldiers.
The hospital is a scene of resilience as Ukrainian soldiers rehab war injuries.
Peter Leone is one of the therapists working with the soldiers, many of which have faced significant losses.
Vladamir Klutz, 41, lost both legs while driving to the front line.
The non-profit 'Kind Deeds,' helped him and the others get prosthetics, while they received essential physical therapy at Staten Island University Hospital. It was all free.
"It's a very important place for me," Ukrainian soldier Volodymyr Kloys said. "I came here on crutches and couldn't walk without crutches, and now you can see I can walk without crutches."
On Monday, a surprise visit was made by President Zelenskyy, who presented the soldiers and their physical therapists with medals.
"I was honored very, very honored," Leone said. "But this much that I've done is very miniscule. These guys have done all the work, the blood, sweat and tears."
"For them to be recognized for ultimately what they put their lives through, that's more than rewarding for me," physical therapist Rebecca Gonzalez said. "To be able to meet him was just a little bit extra to it."
The rehab isn't just designed to get the soldiers strong and mobile, it's also aimed at getting them back on the battlefield, which many of them want to do.
That includes Sergi Pauk, who used his gun as a crutch after his foot was blown off.
"For a young guy with no family and no kids, for me it's a habit already I want to get back in order to finish the war soon," he said.
But for now, they're mending in America, one exercise at a time.