updated 5/6/2004 3:10:52 PM ET 2004-05-06T19:10:52

Thomas Hamill is tired after his hostage ordeal in Iraq and told family members in an emotional telephone call that he is excited to soon be returning home, his grandmother said Thursday.

“He called me, and we had a good talk,” said Vera Hamill, 92. “He said he wants to be back home but he doesn’t want to be in the limelight.”

At Hamill’s request, officials in Macon canceled a meeting to plan a parade or other events to celebrate his return home. His grandmother said Hamill told her that “he didn’t want ‘nothing big for me. I just want to be quiet and be with my family.’ ”

Hamill, 44, escaped his Iraqi captors Sunday and has been treated for an arm injury at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany. His wife, Kellie, joined him there, and the couple may return to Mississippi as early as Friday.

Vera Hamill said the family appreciated the prayer and support offered during the uncertain days when Hamill was being held.

“He told us he had been praying, and I said ‘That’s what brought you home, isn’t it?’ ” she said. “He just wanted us all to know he is to thankful to be back.”

Hamill doing well
In Germany, Marie Shaw, a spokeswoman for the hospital, said Hamill had “a very emotional reunion” with his wife, who brought his favorite cowboy boots, red shirt and jeans.

In a statement Wednesday, Hamill said his condition “is definitely improving now that my wife, Kellie, is here with me.”

“I’m ready to get [to Mississippi] and hug my children,” Hamill said.

Hamill was wounded in an arm and struck in the head with a rifle butt when his convoy was ambushed April 9.

On Sunday, he squeezed open the sheet metal door of a mud farmhouse where he was being held north of Baghdad and ran to a U.S. military convoy passing by.

Hamill, who works for the Halliburton Corp. subsidiary KBR, was among seven U.S. contractors who disappeared after the attack. The bodies of four others have been found, and two remain missing. Two military men also vanished; one was later found dead, and the other, Pfc. Keith M. Maupin of Batavia, Ohio, remains missing.

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