Miraculous. That’s what the family of two U.S. Military vets captured by Russia are saying today. Their safe return is a welcome miracle.
AP News reports, “Two U.S. military veterans who disappeared three months ago while fighting with Ukrainian forces against Russia arrived home to Alabama on Saturday, greeted by hugs, cheers and tears of joy at the state’s main airport.”
“Alex Drueke, 40, and Andy Huynh, 27, had gone missing June 9 in the Kharkiv region of northeastern Ukraine near the Russian border. The Alabama residents were released as part of a prisoner exchange.”
The two veterans had traveled to Ukraine on their own but bonded when they learned they hailed from the same state.
The men provided details of their imprisonment to The Washington Post. Each lost about 30 pounds over the 104 days.
“They were interrogated, subjected to physical and psychological abuse, and given little food or clean water, Drueke and Huynh recalled.”
NBC 4 Washington posted news of the miraculous rescue on their Twitter account:
Alex Drueke, 40, and Andy Huynh, 27, had gone missing June 9 in the Kharkiv region of northeastern Ukraine near the Russian border. The Alabama residents were released as part of a prisoner exchange. https://t.co/uQMeVLenpb
— NBC4 Washington (@nbcwashington) September 25, 2022
The families of the men have been praying for their return. The two arrived Friday at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport and then flew to Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport in Birmingham where family were waiting to greet them.
“Darla Black, whose daughter is engaged to Huynh, said she thought, ‘there he is. There he is’ as Huynh came into view. ‘I had to get my hands on him to actually believe it. I’m just overwhelmed with gratitude. We got our miracle,’ Black said.”
“Surreal. I still have chill bumps. I always imagined this day. I always held not just hope but belief in this day. But I thought it was going to be two or three years from now at best,” Dianna Shaw, Drueke’s aunt, said.
Shaw stated she knows that some families have waited for their prisoners of war for years.
She knows it is a gift for her family member to be freed in only three months. “Even though I’m living it, it feels unimaginable, and I don’t want people to forget all the Ukrainians who are still being held.”
It’s a good reminder for us all to remain hopeful and prayerful for more miracles and for the end of the war in Ukraine.