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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 2:06 pm 
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Dear All,
I was made aware a few months ago that my very close friend, my brother, David Cawthorne Haines had been kidnapped by radical Islamist terrorists in Syria.

I first met Dave in 1997 when he was working as an SFOR Force Protection Officer. He came to my Field Office on the Croatian/ Republika Srpska border asking for assistance in identifying players in an organized crime ring that was operating in RS. Evidently that group had been threatening SFOR soldiers and Dave thought I might know something that ID these players. As it turned out, I gave Dave intel needed to take the entire group down. We became instant friends for life.

Dave left Croatia, got out of the military and returned to Croatia the following year, this time as a Head of Field Office Petrinja for the German NGO "ASB". By coincidence, I was transferred to the OSCE Field Office in Petrinja and Dave and I started working together again, this time with Humanitarian Assistance.

Dave's primary job was to rebuild houses destroyed by the war and mine was to demine those same areas. So we worked like hand and glove to get the war-areas demined and rebuilt. We were inseparable. Every night, we'd get together and drink Dave's favorite local drink: "Stock" brandy and Coke. We'd normally polish off a bottle a night. Till this day, I have no idea how we survived that!

We went on to achieve International Fame by organizing the "Musicians Against Mines" Concert, collecting money to assist the victims of landmines in Croatia. Dave and I really felt good knowing that we had done something really tangible to help war victims.

Dave called me in February 2013 and told me that he was going to Syria to do a Security Survey for a refugee camp near the Turkish border. I begged him not to go, saying that the situation in Syria was nothing like the situation in the Balkans 16 years previously, but Dave made light of my concerns (like he ALWAYS did) and told me he'd see me when I visited Croatia that summer.

Later that Spring, something strange happened. Dave's cellphone went out-of-service and he "unfriended" from Facebook. (Or so I thought at the time.)

As it turned out, Dave was taken hostage in March of 2013, within sight of the Turkish border, by the very people that he had been helping. These nice people then sold Dave to the terrorists for the HUGE sum of $25,000.00 USD. The British government terminated Dave's Facebook account and cellphone so that the terrorists couldn't gather more intel on him his family and friends.

I was told that CAG had attempted a rescue on Dave, another Brit and 2 Americans that were being held with him, but unfortunately, it was a dry hole. CAG reported 2 terrorists KIA.

I've kept silent about my relationship with Dave as to not put him in anymore danger, but unfortunately the worst has happened.

I'll always remember David Cawthorne Haines with a smile. We had so many good times together and I know he's looking down from heaven with an "Stock" Brandy and Coke in his hand yelling in his ridiculous Scottish accent, "Aye Mate! When ye come up, bring some fukken ice!" (He ALWAYS forgot to make ice for the drinks! LOL!)

We love and miss you Dave! And when we meet again, I'll make sure I bring some ice with me.....

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 5:20 pm 
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Thank you for sharing a few stories about him with us.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 7:59 pm 
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Very sorry for the loss of your friend. He sounds like a great person. I hope the people responsible for his demise receive the punishment they deserve.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 10:09 pm 
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That really sucks. Losing a brother is tough. He sounded like a great guy.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 10:16 pm 
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Words really aren't sufficient for something like this. Thank you for sharing him with us. I'm so sorry for your loss.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 10:35 pm 
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I read or heard somewhere that a true friend is someone you can go YEARS without talking to, but the minute you see or hear from that person its as though a day or a few hours had gone by. It sounds like you and Dave had that kind of relationship. Sorry for your loss, sometimes friends are harder to lose than family.

Thanks for posting this to often we read stories in the papers/online and we don't get to know the PERSON. I raise a glass to Dave and to you.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2014 3:30 am 
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Thank you for telling us this story. What is remembered, lives. I don't drink alcohol, but I'll raise a glass of Coke and ice for you and your friend.

Sent via carrier wave.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 12:29 am 
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Condolences...sounds like a great man!


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 6:51 am 
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"Betrayed by the land that bore us, forlorn by those we hold dear.
The Good have all gone before us, and only the Wicked are here.
So stand to, your glasses ready, for the World is a World full of lies.
Here's to those gone before us, and here's to the next man that dies."

I will raise a glass to Your good friend a s he died a warriors death

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 9:37 am 
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2014 3:14 am 
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I felt gut sick and wretched when the news broke about his murder, and I felt so desperately sorry for his loved ones. I cannot imagine what you've all went through.
I'll raise a drink to him here and next time I'm in Scotland I'll be sure to raise a drink to his memory there :cry:

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2014 3:43 pm 
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I just saw this post and was compelled to say how sad I am at the loss of this brave man and your dear friend. May he rest in peace and greet you with joy one day.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2014 7:08 pm 
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I'm sorry for your loss. Thank you for introducing him to us.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:40 pm 
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So sorry for your loss. Sounds like he was a great friend and great man.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2017 7:15 pm 
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I've been gone for a while...thank you all for honoring David.

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