Coming home: Alex Drueke, Andy Huynh are safe at last

Alex Drueke and Andy Huynh enjoyed their first night of freedom Thursday night.

The two men had been held captive since June, when they were taken prisoner in Ukraine working as volunteers training soldiers after their nation was invaded by Russia.

Both Drueke and Huynh are under the protection of the U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia.

Their nightmare began this summer when they went missing while they were training Ukrainian soldiers.

But now, U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt said his office received a phone call from the family this week. The two were among 10 prisoners released by Russian-backed separatists as part of a prisoner exchange mediated by Saudi Arabia.

Several state and federal leaders assisted in helping these men find freedom, including U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell and Aderholt.

But there are still questions surrounding their release.

“We are still trying to find out some of the details of how this all came about,” Aderholt said. “The Saudi government did do a negotiation on behalf of the U.S. and United Kingdom and several other countries. Croatia is included in that as well.”

Aderholt said they are hoping the two men will be back on American soil within the next 24 hours.

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