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April 17, 2009
Rescued captain returns home
BURLINGTON, Vermont (AP) -- The ship captain rescued by Navy snipers from the clutches of Somali pirates said upon his triumphant arrival back in his home state Friday that he was just an ordinary seaman doing his job and he's not a hero. "I'm not a hero, the military is," said Richard Phillips a week and a half after being taken by pirates who attacked his cargo ship, the Maersk Alabama. He said the first people he wanted to thank for saving him were the military snipers who killed three pirates with three simultaneous gunshots in a daring Easter Sunday mission. Phillips' wife, Andrea, and their adult children, Daniel and Mariah, went on board the corporate jet to greet him at the Burlington airport. Phillips waved to a small, cheering crowd and hugged his daughter as he walked inside a building for a private reunion. (14 images)

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Capt. Richard Phillips smiles after arriving on a plane in South Burlington, Vt., Friday, April 17. Phillips is back in his home state, a week and a half after being taken hostage by pirates and then being rescued by Navy snipers. At rear is Phillips' daughter, Mariah. AP / Toby Talbot

Capt. Richard Phillips walks with his family after arriving on a plane in South Burlington, Vt., Friday, April 17. From left, his mother, Virginia, his son, Daniel, his daughter, Mariah, Phillps, and his wife, Andrea. AP / Toby Talbot

Tom Walsh, left, of Underhill, Vt., waves to his friend Capt. Richard Phillips as he drives the final mile to his home in Underhill, Vt., Friday, April 17. AP / Andy Duback

Livy Strong, chairperson of the Jericho Underhill Park District, sets up U.S. flags at the Mills Riverside Park in Underhill, Vt., to welcome Capt. Richard Phillips back home on Friday, April 17. Phillips, 53, was freed from his ordeal with Somali pirates on Easter Sunday. AP / Andy Duback

Richard Phillips the captain of the Maersk Alabama, left, walk towards his plane at the Mombasa airport, Friday, April 17. The U.S. sea captain rescued by U.S. Navy snipers last weekend has left a U.S. destroyer and boarded a jet Friday at a Kenya airport on the first step of a journey home. AP / Karel Prinsloo

Students in an after-school art program make a sign welcoming Capt. Richard Phillips back home in Underhill, Vt., Thursday, April 16. AP / Toby Talbot

Employees of Maersk hang a welcome home banner before crew members of the merchant vessel Maersk Alabama, which was attacked by Somali pirates, arrive at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Wednesday, April 15. AP / Alex Brandon

Peter Seybolt signs the "Welcome Home" banner for Capt. Richard Phillips outside of the Underhill Country Store in Underhill, Vt., on Wednesday, April 15. AP / Burlington Free Press / Emily Nelson

Crew members of the merchant vessel, Maersk Alabama which was confronted by Somali pirates, wait at Mombasa's international airport Wednesday, April 15. The crew of the U.S. freighter that thwarted a pirate attack were at Mombasa airport preparing to return home. AP / Sayyid Azim

This photo provided by the U.S. Navy on Tuesday, April 14, shows the guided-missile destroyer USS Bainbridge towing the lifeboat from the Maersk Alabama to the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer, in background, to be processed for evidence after the successful rescue of Capt. Richard Phillips. AP / U.S. Navy / Lance Cpl. Megan E. Sindelar

Crewmembers of the Maersk Alabama wave from the bus for as they leave the port for Serena Hotel in, Mombasa in Kenya, Tuesday, April 14. AP / Sayyid Azim

Andrea Phillips, right, wife of Capt. Richard Phillips, Daniel Phillips, his son, left, and daughter, Mariah Phillips, meet with the media a day after Phillips was rescued by U.S. Navy SEALS from pirates near the coast of Somalia April 13. Getty Images / Mario Tama

Mia Russin signs a huge card posted on a barn across the street from the home of former hostage Richard Phillips in Underhill, Vt., Friday, April 17. AP / Jim Cole

Former hostage Richard Phillips returns to his farmhouse in Underhill, Vt., Friday, April 17. AP / Jim Cole

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