“General, were most of the hostages really with a veteran’s group?” asked the president.
Goodman’s expression answered the question. “Yes sir, they’re members of various World War II veteran’s associations and their families. That’s where we’re having the difficulty coming up with an exact number. They were in the Philippines for the fiftieth anniversary of our invasion of Mindanao and just started their welcome remarks when the terrorists hit. We know we have one American Army officer killed and at least one veteran. There were at least six more people gravely wounded that were left behind.”
The president shook his head. “The VFW and the American Legion will have a field day with this. They’re already pounding on me for a soft foreign policy when it comes to matters like this.”
“Then you won’t like the rest, sir. We know for sure they executed at least ten Japanese nationals that were there for the same reunion. Shot each of them in the head at close range. They also killed eleven Filipinos during their attack. The Davao Police said they killed one of the leaders, a man named Emil Montoya. Unofficially our Filipino friends think he was sacrificed because he was responsible for the executions. There was another American officer at the reunion, but he’s among the missing. Also on the list of the wounded is the wife of publisher Kevin Gateway.”
“Damn!” said the president. “Gateways an influential man in the media. Why was he there?”
“This is the bad part, sir,” said Goodman. “Mr. Gateway’s father is a retired general who was there for the reunion. He retired from the army in the early eighties. He’s been taken hostage along with his daughter and granddaughter. Gateway’s wife is in critical condition but is expected to survive. We’ll take more heat about the father. He is extremely active in veterans’ groups.”
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