Thursday, May 1, 2008

Servare Vitas -- To Save Lives

It's nice to know I'll be going home soon. But to be honest, there's a pit in my stomach. Not that I'm heading home but that I get to go home. Home sweet home! I was recently reminded of those who can't go home. I've been following their story ever since their helicopter crashed in February 2003. I've worried for them and I wish the government would do -- and could do -- more than what's been done.

I'm talking about the three U.S. contractors that have been held hostage by narco-terrorists in Columbia: Keith Stansell, Marc Gonsalves and Thomas Howes. All of them are military veterans. One of them is a friend of a my retired friend from U.S. Army Special Forces.

I've spoken with personnel who've worked at the U.S. embassy in Columbia about their situation. I've spoken to my friends in private about my insatiable desire to see them freed. Another colleague who is an expert in expat hostage negotiation releases would love this opportunity, I'm sure.

Where's Ross Perot when you need him? Ross, if you'll recall, hired a team of Special Ops guys to rescue his employees in Iran in the late 70s.

Well, these three guys can't go home. They were employed by DynCorp to conduct counterdrug -- drug eradication -- mission on a U.S. government contract. While flying over the coca crops in the jungles of the largest cocaine producing capital of the world, their helicopter was shot down. Two others on the bird were found with bullet holes in them -- they'd been assassinated at pointblank range after the helicopter crashed.

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC) is the terrorist group that's responsible. They currently hold them now. Those terrorists must be stopped. They are lethal. They are an enemy. They are filthy despots. The Colombian government even claimed last month that they found evidence that the members of that terrorist organization have been working to get materials for a radioactive dirty bomb.

I would like to meet with the families of these three noble men. I would like to help their lonely children and cry with their spouses and parents. My heart goes out to those who cannot go home.

More must be done to free these men. Send me.

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