Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) spoke out on the Senate floor today for his constituent, Austin Tice, who this week marked 1,000 days since he was taken by unknown assailants in Syria.
Tice’s battlefield experience in the U.S. Marine Corps lent immense credibility to the pieces he filed for McClatchy Newspapers, the Washington Post, and other outlets, and as a correspondent he quickly earned the respect of the Free Syrian Army fighters.
“Spent the day at an FSA pool party with music by @taylorswift13. They even brought me whiskey. Hands down, best birthday ever,” reads Austin’s last tweet, on Aug. 11, 2012.
On Sept. 26, 2012, a video titled “Austin Tice still alive” was posted on a pro-Assad website, and raised alarms about the Syrian government’s potential role in his capture. The Assad regime has denied any involvement.
“While we often mark the number of days someone is missing, I think it’s important to remember that to the family and friends of someone who is kidnapped even the minutes that pass are almost unbearable. Austin’s family is not just counting the days he’s been gone, and all the milestones that he’s inevitably missed, they’re counting the minutes, too,” Cornyn said today.
“I join the Tice family encouraging the federal government to do everything we can to possibly secure Austin’s safe return home. And I also want to say once again to his family: We haven’t given up, we will continue to stand by you, and we will never give up until we find your son and bring him safely home,” the senator continued.
“So today our thoughts and prayers are with the Tice family and I stand ready to do, and I dare say all of us stand ready to do, whatever we can to encourage and facilitate the return of this Texan, veteran, brother, and son.”