Former American hostage Richard Queen took a break from a day of medical examinations and rest today to go on his first shopping trip since being taken captive in Tehran eight months ago.
A U.S. official said the medical tests were proceeding well, but that it would probably be "a day or two" before they were completed and Queen could return to the United States.
Queen, 28, a vice consul at the U.S. Embassy in Iran, was freed Friday on orders from Ayatollah Ruhollash Khomeini after spending four days in a Tehran hospital. Iranian doctors reportedly advocated his release because they believed he has a brain or nervous disorder that they feared would worsen. t
U.S. officials have said Queen is suffering from a neurological ailment that has upset his coordination and caused stiffness in his left arm, but they have not specifically identified the disorder.
Queen's father, Harold Queen, said his son was "in very good spirits" after his shopping trip. "He's been asking for walnut ice cream and about the Chicago White Sox," he told reporters.
"He had some pizza today," Queen's father added, "but he informed us that he's had pizza in Iran. I guess he didn't miss that too much."
Harold Queen said his son's most important purchase was shoes, "since he came here with only a pair of "Iranian plastic sandals."
"He's looking better every day," Queen said. "He looks good, but on the other hand I ain't no doc."
The father said he and his wife Jeanne, visited their son for about an hour today and talked about personal matters. He said they were asked by U.S. officials to avoid talking about the Iranian situation.
Besides the shopping trip with his parents in the post exchange of the U.S. Air Force base here, Queen also visited the chaplain of the base's Air Force hospital where he is being treated.
Therese Foegen, operational manager of the PX, said she and a security official opened the store early to allow Queen to buy a new set of clothes. Queen's father has said his son lost 10 to 15 pounds while in captivity.
Foegen said Queen roamed the shop in a wheelchair but stood occasionally to try on garments. She said he bought "everything you have to wear," including underwear, socks, shoes and a new suit.
"I'm not an expert, but he looked in real great shape," Foegen told United Press International. He was smiling and friendly, she said, but did not mention his experiences in Iran.
Queen and his parents were accompanied by a hospital medic and a State Department officer as they went through the sprawling, modern Hainbenberg PX on a hill overlooking Wiesbaden.
State Department and military spokesmen refused to give any new details on Queen's condition, but said doctors carried out routine medical checks. Nor would the spokesmen give details of Queen's visit to the chaplain at the 235-bed Air Force hospital.
Queen was transferred to the hospital yesterday after undergong preliminary medical test in Zurich, Switzerland, where he arrived from Tehran Friday.
Security at the Wiesbaden facility has been tight, and reporters have been barred from the hospital during Queen's stay.
The hospital, a former German Luftwaffe facility taken over by American forces after World War II, was were 13 hostages underwent medical checks and intensive debriefing after they were freed last November by Moslem militants who had seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran two weeks earlier.
Although U.S. Department official Sheldon Krys, who accompanied Queen and his parents from Zurich to Wiesbaden, promised a statement on Queen's condition yesterday, another spokesman said later that no such statement would be issued.
"He is in the hands of his doctors, and they will continue the examinations which began in Zurich," the spokesman said.