Mr Ghessen returned to Ukraine to meet veterans of the British and US militaries who have taken up arms to fight the country’s pro-Russian separatists.
“A lot of these guys, they’re looking for a sense of direction,” he told Forces News.
“They’re looking for a purpose and there’s a lot of guys who are former soldiers in the British Army and Americans who go out there because once they transition to civilian street they’re still looking for that urge, that sense of brotherhood, so they go to conflicts like Ukraine.”
Despite having served three tours with the Royal Marines in Afghanistan, some aspects of the war in Ukraine took him by surprise:
“What surprised me the most being out in Ukraine is the fact that it’s still trench warfare.
"It’s the fact that we don’t expect it here in the West and we’re thinking that this year was the 100-year anniversary of end the First World War but that’s still going on in parts of Ukraine, which is only a three-and-a-half-hour flight from London.
“It’s on Europe’s doorstep and it’s a forgotten war really.”
The conflict has currently stalled into a stalemate; troops remain sat in their trenches but there is no political will for a large scale attack. Boredom is one consequence.
“I can understand why they’re bored and they’re whistling and they’re shouting and trying to entice the enemy to fire at them,” says Mr Ghessen.
“It’s quite surprising, the fact is to them it’s just a bit of a joke really. By getting people to fire at them, shoot them, they can return a bit of fire and then they can go get their heads down.”