Former Hostage Returns Home

05-08-04- After three weeks as an Iraqi hostage, and a daring escape less than one week ago, former hostage Thomas Hamill is back home in Mississippi Saturday.

The man who was serving as a truck driver for a subsidiary of
Houston-based Halliburton credits God and worldwide support for his
survival. He says the rebuilding mission that nearly cost him his
life must continue.

Before a prayer vigil held in his honor he told reporters -- quote -- "I knew I was going to make it. I knew I was coming home."

Speaking publicly for the first time since his early-morning return to Mississippi, Hamill said daily, multiple prayers reinforced faith that he would survive captivity.

He was wounded and captured when his convoy was ambushed April
Ninth. He escaped May Second from a farmhouse about 50 miles north
of Baghdad.

He says his captors moved him many times throughout the Iraqi
desert. He said he waited to be brought to an area with which he
was familiar with the roads, and plotted to escape when his kidnappers left him alone.