Parents of U.S. journalist missing in Syria pen birthday letter to their son


See letter below written by Austin Tice’s parents Debra and Marc published by The Washington Post…

Austin Tice, two years later

Two years ago, Austin Tice, a former U.S. Marine who had been working as a freelance journalist and contributing articles to The Washington Post, McClatchy Newspapers and other news outlets was kidnapped while reporting from Syria. Tice’s parents have since repeatedly appealed for his release. Below is a letter written by the Tices to their son, who disappeared on Aug. 14, 2012. To mark the anniversary, McClatchy Newspapers has released two new documentary videos on Tice. Martin Baron, The Post’s executive editor, said: “Each month that passes without news of Austin deepens our concern for his well-being. His family has endured unimaginable pain as a result of his captivity. They have our support in their determined efforts to gain his release.”

By Debra and Marc Tice

On Monday night, we celebrated the 33rd birthday of our son, Austin Tice. Together with those who know him best, we laughed about Austin’s childhood misadventures, reflected on his many accomplishments, and shared our fondest memories of the most devoted son, brother, uncle, and friend any of us could ever ask for.Today, we mark the second anniversary of Austin’s disappearance from somewhere outside Damascus, Syria. Austin was working as a freelance journalist for McClatchy, The Washington Post, CBS and other media when he was taken captive on Aug. 14, 2012.

Since that day, we have had no contact from Austin or his captors. We came together for Austin’s birthday on Monday still not knowing where he is or who is holding him. So for every funny story and happy memory, there were the myriad questions that have haunted us for the last 17,520 hours. What is Austin’s life like today? Is he safe? Is he eating enough? Is he alone? Can he see the sky? How does he pass the time? Does he know how many people are praying and working for his safe return? When will we once again be able to share not just the momentous occasions or once-in-a-lifetime events he has missed; but also the small daily moments – the everyday joys, challenges, blunders and blessings – that family is all about?

Our greatest hope is that these questions, and the prayers of Austin’s family, friends and supporters around the world, will soon be answered. Sadly, that happy day has yet to come. So we write today in the hopes that Austin will see these words, hear our voices, and receive three simple messages we wish to impart as he turns 33.

The first is that we love you and couldn’t be prouder of the man you are today. From your earliest days as an Eagle Scout, a top student, a terrific athlete, and a caring friend and neighbor, we knew you were a special kid. When you put your Georgetown Law education on hold to follow your journalistic dreams, we knew you were extraordinary. When you did so to help people in one of the most dangerous regions in the world, we knew you were one in a million.

CLICK HERE to read the rest of this letter on the Washington Post