MACON, Miss. – Kellie Hamill said Wednesday her family is struggling with the silence that has followed the capture of her civilian husband in Iraq (search), maintaining their courage through prayer and the support of others.
"It's hard, it's really hard," she said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press from her home in Macon. "You want him home. You want to hear from him. You want to hear him."
Now, Hamill's family must deal with reports that four bodies have been found in Iraq, possibly the remains of private contractors who are missing.
Kellie Hamill said she had not seen her husband's picture since the weekend, when the Arabic news network Al-Jazeera aired tapes of the former dairy farmer. In the segment, Hamill's captors threatened to kill him unless U.S. troops ended their assault on the city of Fallujah (search).
A deadline imposed by his abductors came and went Sunday with no word of his fate.
"It's nerve-racking, not knowing what's going on," said Hamill's mother, Phyllis.
Wendy Hall, a Halliburton spokeswoman, said Wednesday the company has no new information regarding the missing workers and whether the four bodies that were reported found Tuesday have been identified as some of those workers.
"I would just like to thank everybody for their prayers," Kellie Hamill said, adding she last spoke to her husband April 7, two days before his abduction. "We want to let everyone know that we're praying for all the hostages."
As word that bodies had been discovered circulated through this town of about 2,200, officials and neighbors prepared for more vigils and prayers for Hamill, Noxubee County's firefighter of the year in 2003.
"We are praying. We are praying all day long," Kellie Hamill said. "I know the Lord is watching over my husband and will keep him safe and he will bring him home to me."
She said it had been extremely difficult to explain to her 13-year-old son, Thomas, and 11-year-old daughter, Tori, what was happening to their father.
"They don't understand. They do know everything. I did not keep anything from my children — we agreed on this," she said.
Hamill fought hard to keep the dairy business that had been in his family for three decades, working long hours to pay off bank loans, friends said.
But he needed to find a way to raise his children. He sold his cows and milking equipment, and last September the plainspoken family man signed on to drive a fuel truck for a year in Iraq for $80,000, tax free.
"He went over because of his debt," Kellie Hamill said. "He thought he could work over there a couple of years and get out of debt."
His wife expressed sympathy for the families of other KBR employees who been reported missing. U.S. officials reported that seven Halliburton employees had been reported missing in Iraq.