ALABAMA (WHNT) — The families of two men from Alabama captured by Russian forces during the war in Ukraine are speaking out.
Saturday marked 100 days since Alex Drueke and Andy Huynh decided to volunteer to assist the Ukrainian army.
Joy Black told News 19 that she has not spoken to her fiancée Andy Huynh since June 8th.
“It was before all of this started, he had told me that he was going to be unavailable for three days at the time and I said okay, and he told me that he loved me and that was it,” said Black.
That was when both Huynh and Drueke were captured. It’s been more than 100 days and just this past week the families had their first contact with anyone associated with the return efforts since July.
Dianna Shaw, the aunt of Alex Drueke, says that not knowing anything about their loved ones has been the most difficult as the days have gone on.
“The State Department did in our last briefing remind us that we need to be prepared for any number of possibilities right now,” Shaw told News 19. “The men could be moved, they could be reached by Ukrainian forces and liberated, the men could be abandoned by their captures and left free or worse.”
Through U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) among others, the recent contact with the State Department has the families feeling more hopeful that something good will come soon.
“We must really thank Senator Shelby’s office for stepping up and connecting us with the State Department,” Shaw stated. “They are not able to do a whole lot hands-on because America is not a part of this war, but they have been able to keep tabs on the situation and connect us with other agencies and important people.”
Black through it all that keeping faith has been the constant.
“We’re trying to stay strong in hope and faith,” Black said. “We hope that Andy and Alex are safe, strong, have hope and faith as well, and any thoughts and prayers will always help.”
The latest reports from the Department of Defense say that Ukrainian forces have launched a counterattack against Russia. Dianna Shaw says that reclaiming their territory could raise the hopes that both men could be released.
The families created a website to post prayers and encouragement, you can see that here.