A former US army veteran who has shot to fame while fighting against Russians says he once bottled his "bogey man" dad as a 10-year-old.
James Vasquez, 47, decided in April to voluntarily risk his life to defend war-torn Ukraine and has built a massive social media following thanks to his harrowing updates.
Now the the father-of-four has revealed just some of the horrors he grew up with including watching his dad stab his mum and sister.
READ MORE: US veteran who fought in Ukraine left by wife and vows to sell house and return to war
Responding to trolls online who have been questioning James' good character, he shed light on a traumatic childhood he was forced to endure.
James reflected on how growing up in an abusive household shaped his early years as a man.
He tweeted yesterday (Wednesday, July 14): "People are trying to dig up my past and disparage me.
"Yes I’ve had a DUI, yes I’ve been arrested for assaulting someone while protecting myself, yes I’ve been in trouble before. I grew up in the worst part of Brooklyn with an extraordinarily abusive heroine addicted father."
James' dad ended up being someone who he, his mum and sister escaped from and could not relax until they knew he was dead.
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Never mind enemy soldiers and generals, James revealed his own father was the only person he has ever feared.
"I saw my father stab my sister and my mother when I was ten years old and I smashed his head with a bottle to stop him. Then we hid from him for years until he died."
He added: "My father was the only person I have ever feared. He was my bogey man every day. I never feared another man the day he died."
In response to a supportive comment, James assured: "I’m good brother, I’m past my past, I know I’m on the right side of history. It’s very easy to try to make someone feel like shit from a computer when you’re not fighting for the right thing.
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"I have have been wildly successful considering the cards I’ve been dealt."
The New York City native has since returned home but has made no secret of his plans to return to the frontline.
"I’ll be back in Ukraine soon but I’m going dark for now," James signed off.
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