Monday, July 09, 2007

Hope for UF student captured in Iraq fades

We have a brother missing in Iraq. Please keep him in your thoughts.
Every week State Department officials brief the family of 24-year-old Jonathan Coté on the fate of their son, a University of Florida student who has been missing in Iraq since he and four other security contractors were abducted in November.

The news is never good.
[...]
The U.S. government appears to have "written off" the captured contractors as a "lost cause," said retired Col. Gerald Schumacher, a former Special Forces soldier and an expert on private contractors in Iraq.

"It is very unfortunate that when contractors get captured, the amount of effort to recover them is minimal compared to what you see if an American soldier gets captured," Schumacher said.

Coté, a former Army paratrooper, returned to Iraq to work for Crescent Security Group after completing his freshman year. He planned to use the money to finance his studies at UF.

He was lured back to Iraq by a former Army buddy who noted that private-security pay is four times that of military pay. Hazard pay and bonuses can bring monthly income to $7,000 or more.

"It was the money and the adventure, too; even college life was a little slow for Jon," said Sigma Phi Epsilon pledge brother Joey Dal Santo, 20, of suburban Chicago.
There is more at the link, but it may make you angry. We had an earlier story too.

Hope for UF student captured in Iraq fades: South Florida Sun-Sentinel