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Hamill's family cheering in Mississippi

Wife says husband is 'fine' after captivity in Iraq

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Relatives of ex-hostage Thomas Hamill celebrate his freedom.

U.S. contractor Thomas Hamill, missing since last month in Iraq, escapes his captors.
Audio Slide Show: Tears of joy at Hamill's return
Halliburton Company

MACON, Mississippi (CNN) -- The wife of American contractor Thomas Hamill told reporters Sunday that her husband was "fine" and looking forward to seeing his family after escaping captivity in Iraq.

Hamill, 43, was a truck driver for Kellogg, Brown & Root, a subsidiary of oil field services contractor Halliburton Co., when his fuel convoy was attacked April 9 near Baghdad International Airport and he was taken hostage.

He was recovered near Balad, south of Tikrit, about 100 miles north of where he was captured, coalition officials said. (Full story)

Kellie Hamill talked to her husband Sunday for the first time since he went missing in Iraq.

"My main concern was just getting him home safe," she told reporters outside the couple's home, which was decorated with yellow ribbons and balloons, with a giant U.S. flag draped across the roof.

The front yard was planted with yellow balloons on stakes, courtesy of friends and neighbors.

"It's a very hard and trying situation that we've been through, but I just want to let people know if you have faith and you pray, all things are possible," Kellie Hamill said.

Hamill said she talked to her husband about 6 a.m. Sunday, just hours after he was rescued.

He told her he heard a military convoy come down the road outside where he was being held, pried open a door and ran about a half-mile down the road to catch up with it.

Hamill had escaped once before but could not find any coalition troops and was recaptured, coalition spokesman Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt said. Kimmitt noted that Hamill made contact with U.S. forces Sunday, but "we don't know that he escaped from his captors Sunday."

After contacting American forces, Hamill took the troops to the house where he had been held hostage, a U.S. military official said.

The unit "conducted a hasty cordon and search of the area and detained two Iraqi citizens with one AK-47 rifle," said Maj. Neal O'Brien of the 1st Infantry Division.

The unit called for a helicopter, which evacuated Hamill to a hospital, O'Brien said. Kimmitt described Hamill as "in good health."

Kellie Hamill said her husband was worried about his family and wanted to know how they were doing.

"I just want to know what my husband went through," she said. "That way I can help him and support him in every way that I can."

Hamill has not seen her husband since September 28, when he left home to work in Iraq.

Struggling to make it as a dairy farmer, Hamill sold his herd and took a high-paying but dangerous job as a truck driver in Iraq. The couple has a teenage son and a younger daughter. (Full story)

Town officials are planning a celebration for his return, but coalition officials indicated that an investigation into his escape might delay his return.

"We're going to do a real investigation here, spend some substantial, significant time with him getting to the bottom of what happened and how he escaped," said Dan Senor, a spokesman for the Coalition Provisional Authority.

"And then we'll release details as we have them. Right now, let's just make sure he's in good physical shape, which he appears to be, and give him an opportunity to reconnect with his loved ones."

Kellie Hamill, a 911 emergency dispatcher, offered this message to other families who have relatives missing in Iraq.

"I just want to let the families of the other ones that are held captive over there and they have no information on them yet, I want to let them know our family will not stop praying and thinking and keeping them in our prayers," she said.

"Our heart goes out to them. And I hope they get the same good news that we have received."

Thomas Hamill was one of seven KBR employees reported missing after the convoy was attacked. Four were later found dead: Jeffery Parker, Jack Montague, Stephen Hulett and Tony Johnson. Two others -- Tim Bell and William Bradley -- are still missing, Kimmitt said.

Pfc. Keith Maupin of Batavia, Ohio, was taken hostage and shown in video with his captors. His fate is unknown. A second soldier, Sgt. Elmer Krause, 40, of Greensboro, North Carolina, was listed as missing but later was confirmed dead.

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