Listen, SPIEGEL: another mercenary! And he even works for ... (gasp!) ... Halliburton!
Family need sent Mississippi dairy farmer to Iraq
JACKSON, Mississippi (AP) -- Thomas Hamill's neighbors in Macon, Mississippi, knew all too well about the hard times that drove the gentle family man to sell off his dairy herd and take a high-paying but dangerous job in Iraq, where he was abducted April 9.
"This is a small town. It hits us hard. God bless him, he's just trying to make a living for his family," said longtime resident Marion Gilbertson.
Hamill fought hard to keep the dairy business that had been in his family for three decades, working long,
exhausting hours to pay off loans to the Merchants & Farmers Bank, friends said.
But he needed to find a way to raise his two young children and pay for heart surgery needed by his wife, Kellie.
He sold his cows and milking equipment, and last September the 43-year-old volunteer firefighter signed on to drive a fuel truck for a year in Iraq for up to $120,000, tax free.
He was captured by gunmen who attacked a convoy. They threatened to kill Hamill unless U.S. troops stopped attacking the city of Fallujah.
On Sunday, Hamill was recovered by U.S. forces and is in good health after apparently escaping from his captors, according to U.S. Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt.
Glad to have you back, Thomas!