Baltimore Journalist Matthew VanDyke To Return Home From Libya
BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Life in Libya after Gadhafi. As the war-torn country begins anew, a Baltimore family hopes they’ll be reunited with their son.
Weijia Jiang has more from an anxious mom.
Matthew VanDyke’s mother says she finally heard the words she’s been waiting to hear– that her son plans to return to the United States.
Baltimore-journalist-turned-Libyan-warrior Matthew VanDyke could be back in Maryland soon.
“He wants to come home,” Matthew VanDyke’s mother Sherry VanDyke said. “He told me that two hours ago when I spoke to him, but he still has some unfinished business.”
After escaping from a Tripoli prison where he was trapped in solitary confinement for six months, the 32-year-old fought alongside rebels on the frontlines.
“I came to this country willing to kill people for freedom,” Matthew VanDyke said.
A goal satisfied. VanDyke is celebrating the death of Moammar Gadhafi.
Earlier this month, VanDyke turned down an offer to return to the United States because he wanted to find missing friends.
“You know, he sort of turned his back on all that help he worked so hard to get,” his girlfriend Lauren Fischer said.
Now, he believes they are casualties in the war, and plans to come home.
“He was going to Libya to witness history in the making,” Sherry VanDyke said. “Not only did he witness it, he was in it. He’s a part of it.”
With one chapter closed, another begins. The country faces intense challenges. For a start, it’s awash in weapons. Thousands of rebel fighters will eventually have to relinquish power to civilian politicians in order to build a new government. But some act like armed gangs.
On Saturday, forces guarded the bodies of Gadhafi and his son in a cold storage room as hundreds waited in line to see for themselves they’re really dead.
VanDyke’s mother said her son is not interested in seeing the corpses, but rather, what they represent: Freedom, including the freedom to leave.
Sherry VanDyke said her son has not given her a firm timeline for his return, but he could be back in Baltimore as early as next month. She tells WJZ that once he gets here, he’ll start writing a book about his wild experience in Libya.
Libyans should be allowed to vote within eight months to elect a national council that would draft a new constitution.