Former hostage reflects on Jill Carroll's captivity - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Former hostage reflects on Jill Carroll's captivity

As the world waits for word on the fate of captured American journalist Jill Carroll a Mid-South man is speaking out about his experiences as a hostage in Iraq.

Former contractor Roy Hallums was freed in September and is now back in Memphis with his family, something he hopes happens soon for Carroll.

"People you don't know come up to you with weapons and say come with us or we'll kill you," Hallums recalled.

Hallums was introduced to the world in January 2005 in a ransom video, released after he had already spent two months in captivity.

"Things just sort of go into slow motion like this can't really be happening and how did I get in this situation?"

Hallums' captors kept him in a dark, cramped basement. He kept track of time by listening for Islamic calls to prayer.

"So I could tell Friday at 11 when I could hear the Imam's call people to prayer so I would keep count that way," Hallums said.

He would count 311 days before he was rescued by American troops.

"They just asked me my name and I told them and he said C'mon let's get out of here and it was like the day I was kidnapped it was like well this can't be real, I've been here 311 days and now I'm free. It's just a miracle," Hallums said.

He's hoping that same miracle will happen for captured American journalist Jill Carroll.

"This is a terrible situation for Jill Carroll and her family but people have come through it and families have come through it and get back to a normal life," Hallums said.

But, he said, the transition isn't easy.

"You're world is so small for so long in my case to open it up so quickly it just takes some adjustment," he said. 

Roy Hallums says he is still receiving medical treatment for injuries suffered while in captivity.

He is also looking for a new job here in Memphis, because he says he has no plans to return to work in the Middle East.

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