Thomas Hamill Found Alive

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An American contractor missing since a convoy attack on April 9 was recovered and is in good health after apparently escaping from his captors.

U.S. General Mark Kimmitt said that Thomas Hamill, of Macon, Mississippi was recovered by U.S. troops on Sunday morning in Iraq.

"He came out of a building and identified himself to American forces," Kimmitt said. "This is a preliminary report that we have that indicate it was an escape from the building. When he saw the American forces he identified himself and was subsequently recovered."

Hamill had escaped once before but couldn't find any coalition troops and was recaptured, Kimmitt said. Hamill is a contractor with Kellogg, Brown & Root, a subsidiary of oilfield services contractor Halliburton Co.

Hamill was found on the same day that nine U.S. troops were killed in Iraq in separate incidents, according to the U.S. military.

Kellie Hamill, Thomas' wife, said it was "the best wake-up call I've ever had."

"He sounded wonderful, so wonderful. He said he was fine," said Hamill, "He said he was more worried about his mom, his grandmother, me and our kids."

He was locked in a building, she said, and he said he heard a military convoy come by and pried the door open. He said he ran half a mile down the road and got with the convoy. Isn't that something?

Kellie Hamill said she didn't know when her husband would return home. White House spokeswoman Erin Healy said President Bush was briefed and "is pleased to hear that Mr. Hamill escaped and is safely in the hands of the U.S. military."

"It's great news for all Americans. The president is happy for Mr. Hamill and his family," said Healy.

Thomas Hamill went missing on April 9 with two still-missing U.S. soldiers, after their fuel convoy was attacked near Baghdad International Airport.