Newseum hangs banner for journalist held captive in Syria

American journalist still captive in Syria

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - A new sign outside the Newseum is providing hope for the family of Austin Tice, the only American journalist held captive in Syria.

The former Georgetown Law student and Marine Corps veteran has been missing for four years.
His family hopes they are one step closer thanks to a banner now hanging outside the Newseum.

"Oh my goodness, don't get me started!" Debra Tice said when asked about her son.

When she sees the sign she worked so hard to get hanging outside of the Newseum, it's not as easy for her to explain how she feels.

"There are mixed feelings because I've been asking for it but I hate that we still need it," Tice said.

Wednesday marks the 1,542 day that Austin Tice has been held captive in Syria. He's a Houston native, a Marine Corps veteran and a former student at Georgetown Law.

Just before graduation, Tice went to Syria as a freelance journalist. That was in August 2012, the last time his family talked to him.

"There's one proof-of-life video that was released in September 2012 that tells us that Austin is alive and we count on that," Tice said.

The Tice family is also counting on the help of the Newseum, “Reporters Without Borders” and President Barack Obama, as well as Austin's captors.

“We met with President Obama in his office in July and he assured us he is doing all he can, and we believe him," Tice said. "It's Austin's captors that need to reach out and let us know how we can resolve this."

Tice hoped the sign outside the Newseum will help get the attention needed to bring Austin home. She said she has no doubt he's alive and she knows exactly what she'll do when they are finally reunited.

"He loves to lift mom off the ground, he thinks that's really funny," Tice said. "So I guess I'll have my feet literally off the ground!"

Until Austin is home, the banner will remain in a place along Pennsylvania Avenue, a place that isn’t insignificant. Before Austin's disappearance, he often reported for the Washington Post.


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