Bunny Drueke, the mother of Alex Drueke, a Tuscaloosa U.S. Army veteran who went to Ukraine to fight against the Russian invasion before being captured, said her son sounded better after receiving a phone call from him a day earlier during an interview with Newsmax TV's Greta van Susteren.

Alex Drueke was captured in Ukraine along with Hartselle native Andy Huynh in June.

According to the elder Drueke, her son was no longer in solitary confinement. She also said she was in touch regularly with State Department officials getting regular updates about her son.

"I actually spoke to Alex yesterday," Drueke explained. "I had not heard from him in 20 days. I wasn't sure that I would get another phone call, but he was able to call yesterday.

"It was not unusual. He was tense, as he had been in the other calls. It was obvious that he was not alone, so he was watching his [words] carefully and may have even been doing scripted parts to me because he was asking for information about how any possible negotiations were going. So, I feel like his captors were encouraging him to say those things. But we were able to talk some, and he sounded stronger and healthier to me."

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email jeff.poor@1819News.com.

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