I wanted to blog about this story, the tale of the rescue of a hostage in Iraq.
US and Iraqi forces rescued an Australian hostage in Baghdad while the death toll continued to rise across the country with suicide bombers killing 26 soldiers and eight policemen.
Douglas Wood, a 64-year-old engineer, had been held for 47 days in Ghazaliyah, a western suburb of the capital. His kidnappers had demanded that the Australian government withdraw its 1,400 troops from Iraq and pay a substantial ransom.
I wanted to blog about it, but was unhappy with the information currently available about what I’m certain was a quite dramatic event. I shrugged it off until I found the following glimpse at Mr. Wood, post-rescue.
Freed hostage craves beer and football results
Freed after being held for 47 days by Iraqi insurgents, Douglas Wood just wanted a beer and to know how his favorite Australian Rules Football team was faring.
Wood has not lived in Australia for years â€” he’s a U.S. resident married to a Californian woman â€” but he has not lost his typically Australian love of beer or his team from the southern city of Geelong where he grew up.
At an emotional news conference in Canberra, two of his brothers, Malcolm and Vernon, recalled Thursday their first telephone conversations with their older brother since his dramatic rescue Wednesday from the clutches of Iraqi insurgents.
“Doug sounded remarkably composed,” Malcolm Wood, 57, told reporters. “He asked me whether the Geelong Cats would win the premiership this year.”
Wood, a 64-year-old engineer, is recovering in Baghdad after being held for more than six weeks by insurgents who kicked him in the head, shaved off his hair and demanded Australia remove its 1,400 troops from Iraq.
One of his first questions to Australia’s counterterrorism chief Nick Warner, who headed Australia’s six-week quest to secure the engineer’s release, was whether he had any beer.
Granted, he’s talking about soccer, but substitute any sport I really care for, keep the beer aspect, and I’d safely say we’re talking about a man I view as a kindred spirit. Here’s a tip of the brew to Douglas Wood.
I’ll keep hunting for details on the actual rescue mission.
EDIT: I stand corrected. As JohnL of TexasBestGrok pointed out in the comment section, the Geelong Cats are not a soccer team. Apparently, Douglas Wood is a huge fan of Aussie rules football, a very cool sport I used to be able to watch in the early days of ESPN. All the more reason to celebrate Mr. Wood’s rescue.