Both bear the scars of surviving fierce encounters with Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.
A year ago, Omelchenko, 39, was a border guard dragooned into helping guide a regular Ukrainian army unit along back roads near Donetsk, the scene of fierce fighting. The tank he was riding on hit a mine, blowing him 15 metres off the country road.
His wife had no idea he was so close to the action, and only learned he'd been wounded through a telephone call from relatives who started the conversation by saying: "He's alive."
In January, a separatist tank plowed over the foxhole where Zozuliak and another man were crouched. The treads almost immediately severed his left hand and crushed his pelvis.
He'd be dead had it not been for the partially frozen ground on the opposite side of the tank, which buckled under the iron monster's weight, causing it to lean just as it passed over the pair.
The fact Zozuliak and Omelchenko survived is one thing. Where the luck comes in is the simple fact that they made it back and through the field-hospital system alive.
"(The Ukrainians) have been taking a disproportionately high number of combat deaths because of inadequate frontline medical evacuation," Defence Minister Jason Kenney acknowledged recently in an interview with The Canadian Press.
The last publicly available figures released in Kyiv say 1,638 Ukrainian soldiers have died fighting to hold back heavily armed separatists in the regions of Lugansk and Donetsk.
Privately, Ukrainian defence officials acknowledge many troops take longer than the so-called "golden hour standard" to get their wounded to front-line hospitals. Experts say trauma victims need treatment within 60 minutes for their best chance of survival.
The problem for the Ukrainians is medevac helicopters can't safely land close to the scene of the fighting because separatists have anti-aircraft weapons, which they're not afraid to use against mercy flights.
The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media, said their challenge is to get the wounded to a safe distance, which can be up to two kilometres away.
They said four-wheel all-terrain utility vehicles, similar to the ones used by Canadian soldiers to move casualties and supplies in Afghanistan, would be of great benefit and could possibly save lives.
It wasn't clear whether that idea came up in Kenney's weekend meetings with Ukrainian leadership, but he did say Canadian military training later this summer would focus on improving medical evacuation.
Omelchenko is in the midst of a long, painful rehabilitation, and has only just begun to walk with crutches. Doctors re-attached his severed spinal column to his pelvis in an operation a few months ago.
Ahead of him are some of the obstacles Canadian veterans of the Afghan war know all too well: government bureaucracy and a possible fight for benefits.
He can no longer work as border guard and will always walk with a cane.
Ukrainian officials have promised him a desk job, but he said he'll wait and see. He hasn't finished his rehabilitation and won't be able to apply for social benefits until then.
Since Ukraine has called up a significant number of reservists and incorporated volunteer paramilitary groups into his force, wounded soldiers face a dizzying amount of paperwork that begins with them obtaining a certificate of military service.
That is easier said than done, judging by the number of complaints groups like Povernys Zhyvym Foundation (Return Live) have registered.
There are also reports of employers not holding jobs for soldiers who are currently away fighting in the east.
There is also very little public discussion about post-traumatic stress care.
Canada has learned some painful lessons about caring for veterans, Kenney acknowledged, but he said the Ukrainians have not asked for assistance in that area.Suggest a correction