July 6, 2008 in Nation/World

U.S. hostages give thanks for rescue

The Spokesman-Review

The three American hostages rescued by Colombia’s military said in their first public statement that they are doing fine and are thrilled to “return home to the country we love.”

In a statement released late Friday by the U.S. Army, the men thanked their families, the Colombian military and the U.S. government, “who never forgot us”: “For 5 1/2 long years, we all hoped and prayed this day would come. Now that it has, we’re just overwhelmed with emotion. The love and the joy we’re all experiencing is beyond description.”

Keith Stansell, Marc Gonsalves and Thomas Howes were receiving medical care at Brooke Army Medical Center at San Antonio’s Fort Sam Houston. The three were working for a Northrop Grumman Corp. subsidiary when their plane went down in Colombia’s southern jungle in 2003.

In an interview broadcast Saturday, Stansell’s Colombian fiancee told RCN Radio she traveled to meet him in Texas along with their 5-year-old twin boys, who will see their father for the first time.

Associated Press

Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email