Drueke addresses ordeal in Ukraine

Former prisoner of war Alex Drueke is happy to be back home in Tuscaloosa.

Drueke and Andy Hyunh were captured in June when they went to help Ukraine in its fight against Russia. 

He said he was mistreated during his time in captivity, but did not elaborate.

He did say and Andy were placed together in a cell somewhere in Russia, but that allowed them to encourage each other during some of their darkest days.

“We kept a 51-49 rule in the cell,” Drueke said. “No matter what, you are 51% optimistic. We are going to get out of here and every once in a while, we would say I am 49-51. We do whatever we could to get back to 51%. As long as you are on the majority positive you are OK.”

The two were released last week as part of a prisoner exchange between Ukraine and Russia that was negotiated by Saudi Arabia. 

Both men and their families are slowly adjusting back to their everyday lives. 

Drueke said he’s been filling up on his mom’s home cooking and catching up with friends. 

“I am not a praying man, but I must admit I did put a couple out there just in case,” he said. “I do know there were a lot of people thinking and praying for us. I understand what that means to them, and I am deeply appreciative of everyone who prayed for us and thought of us. Everyone that called a congressman, whatever they did, we understand we owe a lot of people a lot of things.”

Drueke said he’s going to visit Hyuhn on Thursday. 

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