Mom of US serviceman missing in Ukraine tearfully recalls his cryptic warning

The mother of one of the two US military veterans feared captured fighting for Ukraine has tearfully recalled her son warning her he was “going dark” — days before a colleague told her he went missing on a mission “gone bad.”

Lois Drueke told NBC News that she last communicated with son Alexander Drueke, 39, last Wednesday — the same day fellow Alabama vet Andy Huynh, 27, was also last heard from.

“He wrote and said, ‘I’ll be going dark tomorrow and possibly the next day.’ And I wrote back, ‘Stay safe, and I love you,’” she said, pausing to control her emotion.

“He wrote back, ‘I love you too.’ And that’s the last I heard from him,” Drueke told the outlet, calling her son “the most loyal American you will ever meet.”

The panicked mom said she was then contacted Monday with an alarming message from a fellow US veteran who had been with her son in a village outside Kharkiv.

“He was not there to fight. He was just there to train,” Lois Drueke said of her son.
via REUTERS

“He said that there had been a mission and that it had gone bad,” she recalled to NBC.

“And after 36 hours, everyone had come back, except Alex and Care Bear,” she said, using a codename the troops used for Huynh.

If the pair have been captured, they would be the first known US citizens to have been taken as prisoners of war in the brutal nearly four-month-long war.

White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said that if the reports are true, the US “will do everything we can” to get them back.

Drueke’s mom said that she had not given up hope that her son — an Army veteran of eight years and who had been a staff sergeant — could still be hiding in Ukraine and “out there evading the enemy.”

However, she was panicked at the possibility he had been captured by Russia, which recently sentenced two captured British fighters to death.

Alexander Drueke
Drueke served two tours in Iraq.
Facebook/Alexander Drueke

“If worst comes to worst, I know he was doing something he truly believed was good and noble,” she told NBC News, her voice breaking again.

She put Military.com in touch with “Pip,” the US veteran who had relayed his fears that the duo had been captured after the mission “gone bad.”

Pip — who refused to identify himself — also shared with her an “intercepted Russian communique that talked about having captured two Americans near the area where Alex and Andy went missing,” Duerke’s mom said.

She told the military site that her son — who had PTSD after two tours of Iraq — went to Ukraine in April after telling her he had “the ability and the knowledge to help train the Ukrainian soldiers.’”

“He was not there to fight. He was just there to train,” she insisted.

She said she was “so proud of him.”

“He said ‘Mom, if I die over there, I have died doing something I truly believe is a good thing; I’m over there for purpose, and it’ll be a warrior’s death,” she recalled.

He told her, “‘Just know that I did what I believed was right to do. I believe that I am helping to save American lives, not just Ukrainian lives,’” she said.

Alexander Drueke
Drueke warned his mother that he would be “going dark” for a few days.
via REUTERS
Alexander Drueke
An Army veteran, Drueke is among the first Americans to go missing in the Ukraine conflict.
Facebook/Alexander Drueke

Russia’s defense ministry has yet to comment on the reported capture.

With Post wires

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