Update: Austin is reportedly in Syrian custody. If this proves true, it’s a much better scenario than a lot of folks expected, but still not ideal.
A guy I know is in trouble in Syria. Given what I’ve read, I hope he is, at the most, in trouble. His name is Austin Tice and he began law school with me. He chose a different adventure shortly after we embarked toward the legal equivalent of the dismal science: he joined the Marines. I only hung out with him a few times, but he was shockingly kind and thoughtful and restless. After he absconded from law school, life intervened and we lost touch. He came back to law school, which, when I heard about his return, I thought “seriously? come on, now. What an idiot.” But everyone has their reasons.
The important part is that he is a man who is kind, charismatic, and someone whose light is so bright as to inspire those who haven’t even seen him in years. He wrote an essay on Facebook about his Iraq experience. This essay is good enough to be used by the Department of Defense and our intelligence agencies for years to come. He also explained his desire to go where conflict arose, even after leaving the Marines: his essay to his friends and family as to why he is in Syria shows his desire, his fears, and our failings and successes as Americans proud of the beacon that is our country.
He hasn’t been in touch with anyone in a couple of weeks. I hope he gets in touch soon. He’s a great guy and we all could use a little of his hope, critique, and his general dash into the unknown.