First Anniversary Of Thomas Hamill Escape

Published: May. 2, 2005 at 12:04 AM CDT|Updated: May. 2, 2005 at 8:20 PM CDT
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Life as 44-year-old Thomas Hamill knew it, changed when he was captured by Iraqi terrorists on April 9, 2004.

He told WLOX's Dave Elliott about that experience.

"What went through my mind was that me and my driver were going to be killed. This lone Iraqi comes up to me, pointing a rifle at me. It's going to be over," said Hamill.

But after 24 days, Hamill was able to make a daring escape from captivity, to the surprise of many throughout the nation.

He was rescued by troops from the New York National Guard, and returned home to an adoring crowd waiting to hear and perhaps read his story of heroism.

Hamill granted those wishes by writing his book "Escape in Iraq: The Thomas Hamill Story ".

He actually stopped at a Pass Christian book store while promoting the book, and told WLOX he didn't harbor any hard feelings toward the U.S. government regarding his capture.

"I have the same policy as our government does with hostage takers. You can't negotiate with them because it'll just get worse . It's bad that some people are gonna have to sacrifice their lives in the beginning but that's just the way it is with these people. You have to deal with them firm," said Hamill.

Since that interview, Hamill has appeared in bookstores throughout the country, but he does not see himself as a celebrity.

"I'm not any kind of hero. I'm just a tool of god," said Hamill.

Thomas Hamill has been trying to return to life as usual in Macon.

He has purchased a new tractor and a used hay baler to go along with his decades-old farm equipment.

He hopes to buy cattle by the end of the year.

By Karla Redditte