So far in 2004, trucker Thomas Hamill has escaped from captors in Iraq, has been praised by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and U.S. Gen. Tommy Franks, and has launched a national book tour.
And the year isn’t even over for the 44-year-old Macon, Miss. resident. The former owner-operator and over-the-road trucker of more than two decades worked in Iraq as a truck convoy commander delivering fuel to U.S. troops. Hamill drove for KBR, a Houston-based subsidiary of Halliburton.
On April 9, Hamill’s convoy was attacked near Baghdad. The attack killed four other Halliburton contractors and one U.S. soldier, while two other contractors still are unaccounted for. Hamill was shot in the forearm, hit in the head with a rifle butt and taken prisoner by masked gunmen.
On May 2, he heard a passing U.S. military convoy and pushed open the door of the stone farmhouse where he had been held.
Hamill ran about half a mile to the convoy, waving a white shirt over his head and shouting, “I’m an American.”
Later that month, when Truckers News interviewed Hamill at his home, he had just had skin removed from his legs and attached to his wounded arm. “I’ll be shifting gears in that truck in no time,” Hamill said.
On Oct. 11, Stoeger Publishing in Maryland, best known for hunting and fishing books and references such as the Gun Trader’s Guide, published Escape in Iraq: The Thomas Hamill Story, by Hamill and Mississippi-based outdoors writer Paul T. Brown. The 304-page book has a cover price of $24.95.
Hamill, also a former dairy farmer, will sign books nationwide and promote the book on national television this month. TV appearances include: