Escape in Iraq

Motorized Massacre And Capture “The truck that had just passed…

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Motorized Massacre And Capture
“The truck that had just passed us was maybe 100 yards away in front of us, moving fast, and getting farther away when it exploded, erupting into flames. By then we were hardly moving at all. Out of nowhere, Army Specialist Gregory Goodrich ran and jumped up next to me on the running board of our truck, wrapped his left arm around the mirror and yelled, ‘We have got to drop this trailer!’”

Hamill’s driver yelled that air pressure was dropping, locking up the rig’s brakes. “We were dragging our trailer like an anchor, but the slick road allowed the trailer to skid along,” Hamill recalled. “As much gunfire as we were taking, there was no way Nelson or I could get out of the truck. Whoever got out would have been shot to death. We pushed ahead. I looked over Specialist Goodrich’s shoulder toward the buildings. All I could see were AK-47s sticking out around corners. I didn’t see a soul, just all those guns stuck out and firing. I felt at any minute that Goodrich was going to get killed. He was just standing up on the running board and had absolutely no protection. He was shot in the arm but kept firing away and trying to hold on. A couple of times he grabbed another clip, bumped it, and slammed it in his M16. He was sweeping his gun back and forth and firing, not really picking his targets. He realized he needed to move, so he swung around and climbed onto the hood of the truck to fire from a prone position. Using it as a rest, he continued firing at anything that moved. We crept along, and were coming up on one of the trucks that exploded, and it was still blazing.”

Hamill’s driver yelled, “We can’t go past that truck, we’ll catch on fire, too!”
“Fuel spewed from both sides of their truck,” Hamill said. “We had no more choices.

We had to bail. Right then, a Humvee pulled around in front of us 100 feet and stopped. Then, Specialist Goodrich rolled off the hood of our truck and fell to the ground, picked himself up, and ran for the Humvee. Nelson was running right behind him. Nelson dove through the right door behind the soldier. I ran as hard as I could toward the back of the Humvee and was within 10 steps when the driver gunned the engine. I hollered, but knew there was no way I was going to catch up. They never checked up. They just drove away.”

In the next two minutes, the Humvee would sustain heavy fire as it escaped toward BIAP. Specialist Goodrich would be shot again and killed. Hamill would be swarmed by an AK-toting mob, butt-stroked across the head, and led away.
It began a 23-day captivity.

Editor’s note: Six weeks after his harrowing escape, Thomas Hamill was interviewed extensively by Paul Brown and Jay Langston for their New York Times bestseller, Escape in Iraq: The Thomas Hamill Story. Signed copies are available for $25 ppd, from: Book Mark Publishing, POB 5066, Brandon, MS 39047. For more
information, please call 800-323-3398.

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  • Steve Kelly

    I remember that day. I had just got back to Camp Cedar II on April 8th from my sister-in-laws funeral in Texas when Wayne ask me to go on convoy to Camp Anaconda the next day (April 9th, 2004). I had no sleep and severe jetlag. Working around the clock ain’t no lie. I lost a lot of good friends that day and a lot of people quit. Just one thing. I don’t remember any trucks with “hoods”. All our trucks were Volvos and Mercedes Benz cabovers (no hoods).
    Hey Tommy, you still got that tan Drive It Like You Stole It T-shirt we all signed for you the day you escaped. Glad you made it back buddy. God bless ya.
    CC Steve Kelly
    Camp Cedar II Iraq
    12-03 to 08-05

  • Read his entire book, Escape in Iraq… Mr. Hamill’s retelling of his amazing story changed my life. That’s not just hyperbole. And I’m not an overly religious person. Thank you Mr. Hamill!

  • Tony G

    Thomas Hamill spoke during a class on Anti Terrorism I attended a few months ago. He is an amazing patriot and his story should be told again and again.