Mom of U.S. veteran held in Ukraine speaks to son by phone

The mother of a U.S. military veteran who went missing after he traveled to help Ukraine in its fight against Russia has spoken with her son by telephone

The mother of a U.S. military veteran who went missing after he traveled to help Ukraine in its fight against Russia has spoken with her son by telephone, the family said Wednesday.

Lois “Bunny” Drueke, of Tuscaloosa, answered a call from what appeared to be a Russian exchange and talked to son Alex Drueke on Tuesday for nearly 10 minutes in their first conversation since he and Andy Huynh, another Alabama veteran who traveled to Ukraine, were captured after a fight earlier this month in Ukraine.

Apparently at the prompting of his captors, Drueke said the people holding him were anxious to begin negotiations and that he had food, water and bedding, Bunny Drueke said in a statement released by her family.

“He sounded tired and stressed, and he was clearly reciting some things he had been made to practice or read, but it was wonderful to hear his voice and know he’s alive and alright,” she said.

Drueke said he hadn't been in contact with Huynh for several days, according to the woman. The United States has said both men should be protected as prisoners of war under the Geneva Conventions.

Huyhn's fiance, Joy Black, said his family was thrilled the Drueke was able to speak with his mother.

“We are still hoping to get a similar communication from Andy,” she said.

Druke and Huynh didn't return to a meeting spot after their group came under heavy fire in the Kharkiv region of northeastern Ukraine near the Russian border on June 9. The two traveled separately to help Ukraine and became buddies there in part because of their shared Alabama background, relatives have said.

The U.S. State Department said it was looking into reports that Russian or Russian-backed separatist forces in Ukraine had captured at least two American citizens. If confirmed, they would be the first Americans fighting for Ukraine known to have been captured since the war began Feb. 24.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in