Eagle Scout journalist has been missing in Syria for two years

Austin Tice photo

It’s with a heavy but hopeful heart that I share the news of one of our own missing in Syria.

Austin Tice, an Eagle Scout, former U.S. Marine and freelance journalist, has been missing in the war-torn country in western Asia since Aug. 14, 2012.

Austin, now 33, was one of the few journalists working in this highly dangerous region. He was contributing to The Washington Post, McClatchy, CBS and other news outlets when he was kidnapped.

News about his location or condition has been basically nonexistent.

But his parents, Debra and Marc, haven’t given up hope. And we shouldn’t either. Please join me in keeping this Eagle Scout in your thoughts and praying for his safe return.

Last week marked the second anniversary of his disappearance, and Debra and Marc wrote this letter in The Washington Post sharing memories of their son and speaking with the kind of pride familiar to all parents of Eagle Scouts.

From your earliest days as an Eagle Scout, a top student, a terrific athlete, and a caring friend and neighbor, we knew you were a special kid. When you put your Georgetown Law education on hold to follow your journalistic dreams, we knew you were extraordinary. When you did so to help people in one of the most dangerous regions in the world, we knew you were one in a million.

From what I’ve read and learned about Austin, it’s tough to argue with that sentiment. He’s a truly remarkable man.

I was able to reach Marc by email, and he gave me his blessing to go ahead with this blog post. He told me his son, who earned the Eagle Scout award as a member of Houston, Texas, Troop 266, is the man he is today because of Scouting.

Austin attended multiple summer camps at El Rancho Cima in the Texas Hill Country, hiked at Philmont, sailed at the Florida Sea Base and canoed the Boundary Waters.

“Scouting was important to Austin, and he is very proud of achieving his Eagle,” Marc wrote. “We all recognize the positive impact of Scouting in forming Austin into the man he is today.”

Learn more and help the Tice family

Please visit the website they’ve set up to learn more about how you can help.

Photos of Austin in Scouting

Marc shared these photos with me:

Austin Tice receives the Arrow of Light Award from his dad, Pack 80 Cubmaster Marc Tice.
Austin Tice receives the Arrow of Light Award from his dad, Pack 80 Cubmaster Marc Tice.
Cub Scout Austin presents his mom, Debra, with a mother's pin.
Cub Scout Austin presents his mom, Debra, with a mother’s pin.
Austin crosses over into Boy Scouting.
Austin crosses over into Boy Scouting.
Austin takes a break while working on his Eagle Scout project.
Austin takes a break while working on his Eagle Scout project.
Scoutmaster Bill Wallace presents Austin with Troop 266's "Scout of the Year" award.
Scoutmaster Bill Wallace presents Austin with Troop 266’s “Scout of the Year” award.
Austin poses during his Eagle Scout ceremony in 2003.
Austin poses during his Eagle Scout ceremony.
Marc and Debra Tice stand proud as Austin receives his Eagle Scout award.
Marc and Debra Tice stand proud as Austin receives his Eagle Scout award.