Thursday, September 07, 2006
U.S. Air Force Major Missing In Kyrgyzstan
(CNN) -- A U.S. Air Force officer is missing after a trip to a shopping mall in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek, a U.S. military statement said Wednesday.
Maj. Jill Metzger, with the 376th Air Expeditionary Wing, was last seen shopping at the Zum Shopping Center with others from the Manas Air Base when she disappeared Tuesday, the statement said.
Three things I need to say about this really sad situation. First, I've been to this mall in Kyrgyzstan. Although it has always been one of the 'safer' places to be in downtown Bishkek, it's still Central Asia and nobody in that group should have been walking alone. The fact that her group that she traveled with returned to base without her 'hoping' she would return at a later time is pathetic, and no matter what the outcome, I hope they're all punished to the full extent of the law. What ever happened to 'Never Leave An Airmen Behind?'
Second, Keep Major Metzger in your prayers. This could go either way. The blogger Parrot Check made an excellent point that the local crime syndicate in Bishkek won't like the fact that they just lost their gravy train from the base. Thousands of dollars were being spent by base personnel downtown, and now that the base is in lock down that cash flow is dried up. The Mob will be doing everything they can to find and return the Major unharmed in the hopes that base personnel will be allowed back out to shop. If the Major was indeed kidnapped, it's almost certainly for money... unless of course one of the extremist cells from down south have done this for political reasons. If this is the case, I hope the Mob can find her faster than we can. Either way, keep her in your thoughts and prayers.
Third, Kyrgyzstan is a critical partner in the War on Terror. We need them just as much as they need us, so finding the Major is equally important to the Kyrgyz as it is to us.
Update: As I'm writing this I heard a local radio story about the Major. I didn't know she was a two time US Air Force Marathon winner, and she was bound for Wright-Patterson AFB in just a few days to compete in the Marathon this weekend. The reporter says that the Kyrgyz police are confident that this is not a kidnapping. They didn't elaborate on how they know this, but that's their take on the situation.
Keep your fingers crossed.
Update: The New York Times has an update on the search, but no progress has been made.
posted by El Capitan at 10:28 AM
When I mentioned this news story to my husband, the FIRST thing he said was, "What was she doing by herself??" and that NO ONE leaves their body when off the reservation.
I certainly hope she is found safe & sound soon!