Escaped Hostage, Wife Reunited

Former American hostage Thomas Hamill reunited with his wife Wednesday at a U.S. military hospital in Germany where he is recovering from three weeks in Iraqi captivity, a hospital spokeswoman said.

"It was a very emotional reunion," said Marie Shaw, spokeswoman for the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. "She brought him his favorite cowboy boots, red shirt and jeans.

"She's going to cook him a steak dinner tonight and make him a chocolate cake," she said.

Hamill, a 43-year-old truck driver for a Halliburton subsidiary who escaped his captors Sunday, was being treated at the facility in western Germany for a wounded arm before he can return to the United States.

In a statement, he said his treatment is "going very well."

"My recovery is definitely improving now that my wife, Kellie, is here with me," he said. "My only plan now is to go home as soon as possible and spend some quality, private time with my family."

Shaw said she expected that Hamill would be able to head back home to Macon, Mississippi, by Friday.

Kellie Hamill arrived in the morning at the Ramstein Air Base in a Halliburton jet, which the two are expected to use to return home as well.

Shaw said the two want to stay out of the media spotlight during their time in Germany.

"They want to have a private time," Shaw said.

In his escape, Hamill pried open the door of a shack where he was being held and ran a half-mile to a U.S. military convoy passing by near the town of Balad, north of Baghdad.

"He feels very lucky to have gotten away," Maj. Kerry Jepsen, a surgeon treating Hamill, told reporters.

Hamill was shot in the arm when his convoy was ambushed April 9. After about a week in captivity, he received surgery that cleaned away dead tissue, although it's unclear whether he was taken to a clinic or a doctor came to him, Jepsen said. His bandages were changed daily and he got antibiotics.

His English-speaking captors initially "left him with some water and a couple packages of cookies," Jepsen said.

They frequently moved him from place to place, guarding him in cramped, mosquito-infested rooms where he had to sleep on the floor and had to stay inside during daylight hours, Jepsen said.

On the day he got free, Hamill recognized the rumble of U.S. military vehicles' diesel engines nearby and decided to make a run for it.

"He just said, 'This is my opportunity and I'm going to make it. He's going to have to shoot me or take me out,'" Jepsen said.