Bordentown native dies while providing aid in Ukraine; remembered as ‘selfless’

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By all accounts, Pete Reed wore many selfless hats as a humanitarian worker and a U.S. Marine Corps veteran.

His latest selfless deed in Bakhmut, Ukraine led to his untimely death at the age of 33, however, he “died doing what he was great at, what gave him life, and what he loved, and apparently by saving a team member with his own body,” according to his wife Alex Potter.

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The man she fell in love with – on similar front lines during the Battle of Mosul in Iraq seven years ago – was “evacuating civilians and responding to those wounded when his ambulance was shelled.”

“As you can imagine we are all in shock and have much to do to get him home, so we ask for privacy presently. As more details become clear, we will pass them along.”

Potter shared her thoughts through a social media post confirming her husband’s death on Feb. 2.

Reed was working with Global Outreach Doctors (GoDocs) on their Ukraine mission “to provide emergent medical transport with 11 ambulances from the UK and Khaled El Mayet,” according to the GoDocs website.

GoDocs has been on the ground since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022.

Reed joined GoDocs as its Ukraine Country Director in January.

“Pete was a beacon of humanitarian work – an incredible visionary, leader, compassionate care provider, and an inspiration to us all,” the organization said in a statement on its website. “He selflessly dedicated his life in service to others, especially those affected by disaster and war. Pete accomplished more in his 33 years than most of us in our entire lives. He leaves behind an incredible legacy.”

Gov. Phil Murphy and wife Tammy offered condolences to the Reed family and friends, fellow medical aid workers and veterans and community.

“Tammy and I are deeply saddened by the tragic news of the death of Pete Reed, a humanitarian worker and U.S. Marine Corps veteran, who was killed while aiding the evacuation of Ukrainian civilians,” Murphy said in a statement on Feb. 4.

“A Bordentown native, Pete dedicated his life to service, both founding and working for organizations that help people in need throughout the world.

“Pete will be remembered for the depth of his courage and his compassion, his selflessness, and his sacrifice. His death serves as a devastating reminder of the catastrophic suffering that this unjustified war has caused.”

Murphy said New Jersey will continue to stand on the side of the Ukrainian people in their valiant effort to fight back against Russia’s brutal invasion.

Bordentown City, Bordentown Township’s Committee and the township also offered their thoughts and prayers to the Reed family.

The City and Township flew flags half-mast in honor of Reed, a Bordentown Regional High School graduate.

Reed founded Global Response Medicine (GRM) in 2017 in response to the Battle for Mosul. He served as an infantryman in the Marine Corps in Third Battalion, Eighth Marines from 2007-2011.

“Pete was the bedrock of GRM, serving as board president for four years,” the organization said in a statement on their website.

“This is a stark reminder of the perils rescue and aid workers face in conflict zones as they serve citizens caught in the crossfire. Pete was just 33 years old, but lived a life in service of others, first as a decorated U.S. Marine and then in humanitarian aid. GRM will strive to honor his legacy and the selfless service he practiced.”

Reed is survived by his wife Alex Potter, mother, Candy Reed, brother, Chandler Reed and his wife Bryanne and their children Anthony, Mackenzie, and Parker, his stepmother Michelle Reed, and stepsisters Courtney Reed and Danielle Newman and her husband Gary, according to GRM.

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