RIP: Thor David Hesla

Congressman David Wu's first campaign manager, Thor David Hesla, was killed in Afghanistan - when the hotel he was living in was attacked. From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Thor David Hesla was killed Monday in a Kabul, Afghanistan hotel gym by militants, possibly Taliban, throwing grenades and firing AK-47s, friends and his employer confirmed Tuesday

Hesla, 45 and a graduate of Briarcliff High School and Emory University, worked for the international company BearingPoint Management & Technology Consultants, which had a contract with U.S. Agency for International Development to help Afghanistan rebuild its government and infrastructure.

As reported by the Oregonian, Congressman Wu remembered Thor fondly:

"That Thor should pass at the hands of religious extremists is perhaps one of the great ironies of life because he was such a strong proponent of the humane, human virtues in life. He worked in tough places, tough jobs in America, in Kosovo, in Afghanistan, always promoting peace, democracy, and the general public welfare. He worked so many hard, dangerous jobs, and he was such a colorful person that he was larger than life."

Goodbye, Thor.

  • Unrepentant Liberal (unverified)

    Sad news. There was a entry on the Huffington Post several days ago by someone who was in that same gym who escaped with her life by hiding. I couldn't locate it today to link, but I remember that reading it made the hair stand up on the back of my neck. This sad fact brings the tragedy home even more so. It was a supposedly 'safe' hotel.

  • Sean Sinclair (unverified)

    I encourage those who didn't know Thor to visit this online memorial to him.

    And to understand the wit of Thor...I encourage everyone to look at this MUST READ "Ann of a thousand lays. Ten modest proposals to help Ann Coulter get a date."

  • (Show?)

    Wow. Thanks, Sean. I had forgotten about that gem of hilarity from Thor. Might be the funniest thing I've read in a long, long time.

  • Matt Blevins (unverified)

    This news struck close to home.

    I didn't know Thor although I met him when he was here on the Wu campaign. But I just returned from doing similar work in central Asia and although the risks were significantly lower where I was, the risk inherent in the work still existed.

    In these assignments in far flung places, high end hotels like the Serena, or in my case the Hyatt, provided a haven for the international community. The small gyms were a usual meeting place for most expats at the end of the day. And while they weren't anything compared to 24 Hour Fitness or other gyms we're used to here, they provided a familiar respite from the chaos and uncertainty we all faced in the rest of our daily lives.

    This attack was meant to send a very specific signal to the international community: you are not safe, anywhere.

    My condolences go out to Thor's family and friends.

  • Maribeth Healey (unverified)

    Sh--This is just another example of how small this world is. Thor and I worked together in 96 and indeed his humour kept us all going. I just received an e-mail from him. Even in the very dangerous place he was, he still managed to laugh and make us all laugh.

    I'm with you Matt on the condolences and we're glad you're back state side. And Sean, thanks for the memorial link as well.

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