Tuscaloosa mother shares concerns about son missing in Ukraine
By WVUA 23 News Reporter Emily Benito
TUSCALOOSA – The third Friday of September is marked to remember those who served our country and are missing in action or prisoners of war. This day is especially meaningful for one Tuscaloosa family.
Bunny Drueke’s son Alex was a U.S. Army soldier who volunteered to train Ukrainians on equipment supplied to them by the United States.
Alex was taken prisoner by Russian allies in Ukraine and has been held as a prisoner of war since June. Another Alabamian and former member of the military, Andy Huynh, was also captured and is reported to be a prisoner of war.
Bunny Drueke said she’s not spoken with her son in a month. In the meantime, she’s trying to keep a positive outlook.
“I’m proud of him for that and if he never comes home, I’m still proud of him,” she said. “For being willing to help another country defend its liberty and democracy and to help, in the long run, our country in that way. I’m just really proud of him.”
This day is not easy for any family with a member in these circumstances, but Bunny shared some kind words on how she stays positive.
“Hang in there. Keep yourself healthy for when your loved one does come home. They’re going to need you. I try to stay healthy and upbeat because I know that’s what my son would expect of me. He is a very brave person and he expects me to be brave too,” Drueke said.
Bunny Drueke said the state department is doing everything they can to try to rescue Alex and Andy.
Drueke said the Ukrainian government also cares deeply about their own soldiers as well as the U.S. troops that are helping them in their efforts.
“The Ukrainian Ambassador told us that President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has a list of all of the Ukrainian P-O-W’s and Alex and Andy are on that list. And everyday he reads off every name and he has vowed that he will get them all home,” Bunny Drueke said.
The Department of Defense has reported that there are currently more than 81,000 Americans who remain prisoners of war or missing in action. Sept. 16 is set aside as POW/MIA Day in honor of those Americans.