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ALGOP starts GoFundMe for 2 vets captured in Ukraine

BIRMINGHAM — The Alabama Republican Party has started a GoFundMe account to help the families of two Alabama veterans captured in Ukraine.

The families of Alex Drueke and Andy Huyn incurred thousands of dollars in expenses bringing the men home, the party said in a news release Tuesday. The goal is to raise enough money to pay off the bills before Christmas.

Drueke, who served in the Iraq War, is a resident of Tuscaloosa. A Marine veteran, Huyn lives in Lawrence County and is a student at Calhoun Community College.

The men were captured in June while helping Ukraine in its war against Russia. They were released in September as part of a prisoner exchange.

Party Chairman John Wahl has also arranged for anonymous ALGOP donors to personally match all funds raised toward the $5,000 target amount.

“We are incredibly thankful for Alex and Andy’s sacrifice, both during their time in the U.S. military and what they went through on behalf of the people of Ukraine,” Wahl said. “When I learned their families were paying off their flights home, I felt it was important for us to step up and help. These families went through so much, and I wanted to show that we cared.

“The Alabama Republican Party has always been supportive of our veterans, and this is just one small way we can help give back.”

Alabama’s political committee rules do not allow the Republican Party to contribute directly. So, Wahl is encouraging party members and the general public to help give these veterans a special Christmas gift this holiday season.

All funds raised will go directly to Dianna Shaw – Alex Drueke’s aunt. She put all the expenses to bring both men home on her credit card. The ALGOP said it will not receive any of the funds raised.

Click here to visit the GoFundMe page.

“People across our state prayed for Andy and Alex’s safe return,” Wahl said. “We thank God that they made it home, and that they are able to spend this Christmas with their families.

“We hope this campaign will do a little to show our appreciation, and let them know that the people of Alabama are glad they are home this holiday season.”

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