TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — It’s now been two months since two Alabama veterans who were prisoners of war were released from Russian captivity and brought back home.

On this day of Thanksgiving, Alex Drueke and his family say they are grateful for what they have, but they’re keeping the conflict in Ukraine on the top of their minds.

“This war is not over, and Ukraine still needs help, and we need to make sure that we’re providing it,” Drueke said.

Drueke said it is weighing heavy on his heart that there are still Ukrainians fighting for freedom thousands of miles away.

“It’s kind of bittersweet for me to know that what I’m enjoying, they’re still waiting for,” Drueke’s mother Bunny said. “As thankful as I am to have my son back with me, I can’t help but think about all of the Ukrainian families who are still waiting.”

That’s why prisoners of war Alex Drueke and Andy Huynh made the trip to Washington, D.C. last week – to meet with state and national leaders to keep attention and efforts in Ukraine – and to say thank you for helping to bring them home.

“So many people did so many things for us and we can never repay that,” Alex said.

Bunny said it was much more meaningful to thank them in person.

“Saying thank you in a card or an email or phone call just wasn’t enough,” Bunny said. “They were the ones that I held on to all during that time because they were the ones that knew what was going on behind the scenes.”

Alex said they keep the conversation by maintaining these connections going and continuing to stay involved with officials who can provide support in Ukraine.

“We’re trying to make sure that we do something good with this,” Alex said. “It’s why we want to keep doing interviews is to keep Ukraine alive, keep their name out there and use our experiences for good.”

Being back home from captivity has been an adjustment. Alex said he goes to appointments frequently but must rest because of the major toll this torture took on his body.

“For whatever reason I was getting far worse treatment,” Alex said. “Don’t get me wrong, Andy got treated horribly. A lot of the things they were doing to me they were doing to him just not as frequently, not as often.”

Alex said he was tased, malnourished, hooked up to a car battery four times, had four cracked ribs and was not given clean drinking water. He said he has a great appreciation for clean drinking water being back home and enjoys quality time with his dog, Diesel, thankful to have all this family time.

“I’m very appreciative that I did get to come back home but I can’t forget about the guys and gals that can’t,” Alex said.

The Drueke family said you can continue to help by supporting your local Ukrainian groups, praying for everyone and contacting your local congressional leaders so that everyone can one day be at peace.