Alex Dreuke more than thankful on this Thanksgiving Day

Published: Nov. 24, 2022 at 12:13 PM CST
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - We have so much to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving Day and no one is more keenly aware of that than Alex Drueke and his mom, Bunny, in Tuscaloosa. The former prisoner of war and his friend Andy Huynh spent more than 100 days in captivity by Russian forces.

Two weeks ago, a local veterans group treated Alex Drueke and his mom Bunny to lunch at a Tuscaloosa steakhouse, a fine lunch and a far cry from what he remembered during his captivity by Russian forces in early 2022. Alex Drueke along with his friend Andy Huynh, two U.S. military veterans, volunteered their services to help the Ukrainians in their battle against Russia. The two were captured back in the spring after evading Russian forces for hours.

“They actually electrocuted me with a car battery four times, so I was having heart issues and I’m on heart medication,” said Drueke.

That was only the beginning.

“I had a rifle fired at me several times,” he said.

And Drueke now wears a hearing aid. Alex Drueke and Andy Huynh say they were subjected to physical and psychological abuse. In spite all they endured.

“I’m just stubborn,” said Drueke.

Stubborn but thankful on this Thanksgiving Day, two months removed from what they describe as their own personal hell.

“They were just evil people,” Drueke said.

“I really do think I’ve been given a second chance at life. Everyday I feel a little bit better. No regrets whatsoever. I felt compelled to serve our country. I felt compelled to help them train. I’m happy I went. I’ve gained a lot of good experiences on top of the bad stuff and I learned a lot about myself,” he said.

“Just having Alex home and seeing that POW-MIA flag flying reminds me my son was a POW and I have him home,” said Bunny Drueke.

Home and surrounded by more than 20 relatives for Thanksgiving, thankful to be alive and to be able to tell his story. Alex Drueke said his friend and fellow prisoner of war Andy Huynh is healing as well.

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