UPDATED 9:20 AM PT – Friday, June 17 2022
The State Department said a possible third American is missing in Ukraine. During a Thursday press briefing, spokesperson Ned Price said they received reports of an additional American who went to fight in Ukraine whose whereabouts are unknown.
However, concerning the two veterans who also went missing, the State Department has not contacted Russia over the matter. The US veterans volunteered to help fight in Ukraine. On Thursday, the White House said they were looking into it.
“We don’t know where their whereabouts are,” stated White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. “We are working very hard to learn more about about this, about their, about these Americans who are now missing, our hearts go out to their families during this difficult time.”
According to their families, 39-year-old Alex Drueke and 27-year-old Andy Tai Ngoc Huynh disappeared together near the city of Kharkov after their platoon came under heavy fire on June 9. Both Drueke and Huynh last communicated with their families on June 8.
Huynh had served in the Marines for four years and was planning a wedding with his fiancée when he felt pressed to go to Ukraine and help its government.
“We just really want him back he’s got such a big heart,” said his wife to be Joy Black. “He knew this wasn’t the easy thing, but this was the right thing.”
Meanwhile, during an exclusive with NBC News, Drueke’s mother Lois received a call from one of her son’s friends on June 13 that stated the mission had gone bad and after 36-hours everyone had come back except the two veterans.
Drueke previously served two tours in Iraq as a US Army service member and was said to be volunteering in Ukraine as a “civilian with army training.”
“If the worst were to happen, I would know that he felt fulfilled,” stated Lois. ‘And that he was content with what he had done and accomplished.”
The US State Department has continued to urge Americans not to go to the country amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict.