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May 2, 2004
Hamill Escapes

The American contractor held hostage by Iraqi insurgents escaped from captivity, found an American convoy, and led them back to his captors, according to the AP:

American hostage Thomas Hamill, kidnapped three weeks ago in an insurgent attack on his convoy, was found by U.S. forces Sunday south of Tikrit after he apparently escaped from his captors, the U.S. military said. An official said he was in good health.

Hamill, 43, of Macon, Miss., was discovered when he approached a U.S. patrol from the 2nd Battalion 108th Infantry, part of the New York National Guard, in the town of Balad, 35 miles south of Tikrit, a spokesman for U.S. troops in Tikrit said. ... Hamill identified himself to the troops, then led the patrol to the house where he had been held captive. The unit surrounded the house and captured two Iraqis with an automatic weapon, said the military spokesman, Maj. Neal O'Brien.

Hamill, a truck driver working for a subsidiary of the contractor Halliburton, had a gunshot wound to his left arm that appeared to be infected, and was flown by helicopter to Bagdad, O'Brien said. Video images of Hamill released by his captors a day after his abduction showed his left arm in a sling, suggesting he was wounded during the attack on his convoy.

Hamill will receive treatment for his infected gunshot wound, and then it isn't clear what he will do. General Kimmit said that he's ready to "get back to work," but he's a private contractor, not an enlisted man or officer in the military. I hope that Halliburton, his employer, has the good sense to send the man home to his family for an extended vacation. I'd say the man has some serious comp time coming to him.

Sometimes, prayers are answered.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at May 2, 2004 9:18 AM

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