LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – Two Alabama veterans are missing after traveling to Ukraine to help the army in their war against Russia.
Andy Tai Ngoc Huynh, 27, of Trinity, and Alexander Drueke, 39, who grew up in Tuscaloosa went to Eastern Europe to fight with Ukraine’s army on the battlefield. They were last seen in the Kharviv region in near the Russian border on June 9, according to the Associated Press.
According to Major Jim Stenger with the Marine Corps, Huynh served in the Marines for four years with his last assignment being at Camp Pendleton in California in 2018. He said while Huynh had never been deployed he was the recipient of several awards including the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.
Huynh’s fiancé, Joy Black, spoke with CBS News on Wednesday about him and the ongoing situation.
“I kind of had this bad feeling through Saturday/Sunday because that was around the 4-day mark,” Black explained. “But I thought it wasn’t entirely unusual. I mean he said 2-3 days – 4 is not out of the realm of possibility.
Black continued to say that she still hadn’t heard from Huynh on Monday but got word from somebody else who told her that he and Drueke had been on a mission and missed the rendezvous point. That is when she reached to her representative, Robert Aderholt.
“According to Huynh’s family, they have not been in contact with him since June 8, 2022, when he was in the Kharkiv area of Ukraine. As you can imagine, his loved ones are very concerned about him. My office has placed inquiries with both the United States Department of State and the Federal Bureau of Investigation trying to get any information possible,” Aderholt said in a statement.
Black said her concerns were taken seriously and Aderholt immediately sent the situation further up.
“It wasn’t that much longer, less than a day, that I got a call from the state department asking me for information,” Black explained.
Aderholt told News 19 that he has a close contact in the Ukrainian parliament and hopes that they will be able to help.
Huynh and Drueke became close friends during their time in Ukraine, according to Black.
“I’m really hoping that we can get some answers and find out where Andy and Alex are and get them home… We want both of them back. Not just one,” she said.
Senators Shelby and Tuberville and Congresswoman Sewell are assisting Drueke’s family in finding answers on where the two men may be.
“He just had such a calling to go help these people and I think that’s a strong testament to his character,” Black said about Huynh. “He went there to help these people in any way he could.”
The Department of Defense could not confirm that either Huynh or Drueke have been captured, they are closely monitoring the situation.
The U.S. State Department told the Associated Press it is investigating reports that Russian forces captured at least two American citizens. If true, Huynh and Drueke would be the first known Americans fighting for Ukraine to be captured since the war started.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.