HomeCalifornia & USWelcome home! US military veterans captured by Russia while fighting in Ukraine...

Welcome home! US military veterans captured by Russia while fighting in Ukraine arrive in NYC


Two American veterans captured by the Russians whereas preventing in Ukraine had been returned to america on Friday, to be united with their overjoyed households.

Andy Tai Ngoc Huynh, 27, and Alexander Drueke, 39, had been each freed on Wednesday as a part of a Saudi-brokered prisoner swap.

The pair landed again at New York’s JFK airport round midday on Friday, and had been taken to the TWA Resort by the terminal.

‘I have been knowledgeable that Andy and Alex are again on American soil,’ tweeted Robert Aderholt, an Alabama congressman.

‘These are undoubtedly answered prayers!’

Alexander Drueke, 39, proper, and Andy Tai Ngoc Huynh, 27, are seen on Friday arriving on the resort by JFK airport. The pair flew in from Saudi Arabia, after the Saudis brokered a deal to launch them from Russian captivity

The pair, military veterans who did not know each other until they went to Ukraine, were both captured in June

The pair, navy veterans who didn’t know one another till they went to Ukraine, had been each captured in June

Drueke and Huynh are seen leaving the airport on Friday. They were the first Americans fighting for Ukraine known to have been captured since the war began on February 24

Drueke and Huynh are seen leaving the airport on Friday. They had been the primary People preventing for Ukraine recognized to have been captured for the reason that battle started on February 24

Huynh and Drueke’s family members had been touring to New York to satisfy them, they usually had been anticipated to return to Alabama on Saturday.

The pair went lacking in early June within the Kharkiv area of northeastern Ukraine, which is close to the Russian border.

They had been the primary People preventing for Ukraine recognized to have been captured for the reason that battle started on February 24.

Huynh’s fiancée, Pleasure Black, 21, instructed USA At the moment earlier this week that she was at work when her cellphone confirmed an incoming name from Saudi Arabia, which she didn’t reply.

She then acquired a voicemail from the U.S. embassy in Saudi Arabia, saying the lads had been freed.

She mentioned she was ‘joyful for the primary time in like 4 months.’

Drueke’s aunt Dianna Shaw mentioned they’d not been instructed the swap was being ready.

‘I requested Alex yesterday if he knew he was being freed and he instructed me that they didn’t perceive what was occurring for a number of hours,’ she mentioned on Friday.

Drueke is pictured shortly after his capture. He served as a chemical operations specialist in the Army Reserve from 2002 to 2014 and deployed to Kuwait in 2004 and to Iraq in 2008

Drueke is pictured shortly after his seize. He served as a chemical operations specialist within the Military Reserve from 2002 to 2014 and deployed to Kuwait in 2004 and to Iraq in 2008 

Huynh, pictured in June, said that he traveled to Ukraine in April to fight alongside the Ukrainians

Huynh, pictured in June, mentioned that he traveled to Ukraine in April to combat alongside the Ukrainians

Early within the battle, Ukraine created the Worldwide Legion for international residents who needed to assist defend towards the Russian invasion.

Drueke served as a chemical operations specialist within the Military Reserve from 2002 to 2014 and deployed to Kuwait in 2004 and to Iraq in 2008.

Huynh spoke to his native newspaper, the Decatur Each day, shortly earlier than flying to Japanese Europe in April.

He was born and raised in Orange County, California, to Vietnamese immigrants and moved to northern Alabama two years in the past to be nearer to his fiancee.

He defined that he was learning robotics at Calhoun Group Faculty however couldn’t cease desirous about Russia’s invasion. He had enlisted within the Marines when he was 19 and served for 4 years, although he didn’t see lively fight.

‘I do know it wasn’t my downside, however there was that intestine feeling that I felt I needed to do one thing,’ Huynh instructed the Decatur Each day.

‘Two weeks after the battle started, it saved consuming me up inside and it simply felt improper. I used to be shedding sleep.

‘All I may take into consideration was the state of affairs in Ukraine.’

He mentioned he determined to fly out as soon as he discovered that younger Ukrainians had been being drafted into service.

‘Proper after they turned 18, they had been compelled to enlist within the navy to defend their homeland,’ Huynh mentioned.

‘Truthfully, that broke my coronary heart. I’d say that’s most likely the second the place I made a decision that I’ve to do one thing.’

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