April 20, 2005
The Damned of the West (part 2): Interview With Susan Hallums (cont.)
American Roy Hallums was abducted from his temporary Baghdad home on November 1st, 2004. He was in Iraq as a civilian contractor working on rebuilding efforts. His mission had everything to do with helping the Iraqi people rebuild their country after decades of war, mismanagement, and terror under the Saddam Hussein regime.
I had the opportunity to have several e-mail conversations with both Susan Hallums and Carrie Hallums Cooper recently. They have graciously agreed to letting us interview them. What follows is part 2 in a series of interviews with the family of Roy Hallums. Part 1 of that interview can be found here. This segment continues the interview with Susan Hallums.
Susan is Roy Hallums ex-wife and the mother of Roy's two daughters, Amanda and Carrie. Susan is in the process of selling the small house she inherited from her mother. The proceeds from the sale will go for a reward offer for information on Roy's wherabouts in Iraq. You can support Roy Hallums family by sending donations to:
Free Roy Foundation
c/o Carrie Cooper
PO Box 947
Westminster, Ca. 92684
More information is on the Free Roy website.
Rust Shackleford: Ever since we crossed paths I've been following your story and have read that you are in constant contact with the wife of Roberto Tarongoy [a Filipino who was taken hostage with Roy]. Would you like to tell us anything about that relationship? Perhaps there is something you would like to say on behalf of the Tarongoy family?
Susan Hallums: I can't comment on this one Rusty, that is their request.
RS: Have you had any contact with any of the other families of hostages being held in Iraq? Jeffrey Ake, Tim Bell, Bill Bradley, or Dean Sadek, or Mohammed Monaf? If not, is there anything you would like to say to them if you could?
SH: No I havent . I called Jeffrey Ake's company and told them to please call me if they would like to talk to me. That I have been in these terrible shoes for 6 months and if I could help in any way please call me. He has my prayers and hopes that he is released right away. His family also has my prayers and my heart goes out to them.
Also to the Bells, Bradleys, Sadeks & Monafs. My prayers and hopes go to all the hostages and the missing. Also the Maupins and Scott Speichers family.
Patti Hensley [the wife of American hostage Jack Hensley who was murdered by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's al Qaeda in Iraq] emailed me, my prayers and sympathy goes out to her also. Patti Hensley conveyed her hopes and prayers for Roy and my family. My heart is truly saddened about the senseless death of Jack. My sympathy and prayers go to Patti and their sweet daughter Sara. I know the pain in the voices of my daughters. There is nothing harder for child to go through than lose a parent. I pray for their strength and courage to move on. God bless them.
I know my sadness and realize what all these fine families feel. Please visit our website and remember the hostages in Iraq, I would gladly negotiate for all of them , I wish I could help. royhallums.4t.com
RS: Have you heard anything from Roy's captors since they released a video of him in January?
SH: No from what I understand is they still want a huge sum of money approximately $20mil. I have read that families have paid $50,000 to captors in previous Iraq hostage situations and they were released. From my point of view that is amount that no one could or would pay. It is so wrong to take a human life and ask for money. I frequently think I am having a bad dream that this is just not happening to my family.
RS: Do you know if the company Roy was working for is trying to secure his release?
SH: I believe they are negotiating but it doesn't obviously resolve anything, it has been 6 months ....he's still there.
RS: I noticed that the Rev. Jess Jackson has gotten involved, at least to the extent that he has publicly asked for Roy's release on your families behalf. May I ask how this ordeal has affected you religious outlook? Has this affected your faith in any way?
SH: Rev. Jackson made an appeal and asked religious leaders to help. It is just something else I was hoping that would help Roy. This hasn't changed my faith, I believe that God will see Roy and my family through this . I
believe in miracles and pray for this one .
I have had some wonderful support from caring people and friends. I thank everyone that gets involved to help Roy in his terrible plight. I know Roy thanks you too, from the bottom of his caring heart.
RS: Is there anything else you'd like to say?
SH: Yeah, just one more quote from the same Congressional report (see part 1). [speaking of French journalist and former hostage Jean Paul Kauffman writing on the 4th anniversary of Terry Anderson's captivity in Lebanon] :
The plight of the hostages in captivity requires our constant care and attention. We must do all we can to convey to Terry Anderson [still in captivity at the time] and the others that they have not been forgotten, that we are not indifferent, and that we will not stop fighting for their release until they are resting safely in their homes. Captivity is a day-to-day ordeal for them: it HAS to be for us as well.That was very well put it was like it was pulled from my entire being and poignantly put into words. I feel the same now about our loved ones in IRAQ. I think of all of them constantly and pray for their safe return and not to be forgotten.
I also wanted to say I had a wonderful lunch with Tommy Hamel. He is a Hero that I respect. I love when he said in his book that there are some good people in Iraq and that we are there for a good reason. I admire his bravery and think he is a great American that was there to help in Iraq.
Next week: An interview with Carrie Hallums Cooper, the daughter of Roy Hallums.