He is your husband; he is your brother; he is your son. June 30th marked the four year anniversary of the kidnapping of our American Soldier, Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl. In 2009, the 23-year old was taken from Afghanistan by a group connected to the Taliban. Currently, he is the only known American held as a prisoner of war from the Afghan war, and yet, it is only of late that the media has focused attention on this Soldier. With the drawdown of forces in Afghanistan, will our military forces hold true to the motto of never leaving a man behind?
After his initial capture, the Idaho native appeared in a video with his captors, pleading “I am scared that I won’t be able to go home.” He expressed deep concern that he would never get to hug his family members again or marry the girlfriend who was waiting for him. Now, over 1460 days later, he still waits. His family waits. Media liaison for the Bergdahl family spoke to us in regards to the military’s current efforts to find Sgt. Bergdahl; Colonel Tim Masano of the Idaho National Guard said, “The military effort to bring Sgt. Bergdahl home is as strong as it ever has been and there are many people, within the Department of Defense and throughout the U.S. Government, who are committed to this goal. This effort will not cease until it is successful and he’s safely brought back to the United States and reunited with his family.”
Recently, new developments have brought the story back to a national focus. The Taliban allowed a letter to be delivered from Bowe to his family via the International Committee of the Red Cross. The family was adamant that they believed the letter came from their son, and it renewed their hope “that Bowe is doing as well as can be expected under the circumstances.” (Obtained from a statement from the Bergdahl family on June 6, 2013)
Also, the State Department is currently in negotiations with the captors to broker a deal for his release. At the time of publication, no deal had been reached, but the family reiterated that they hope those holding him “will again consider his parents’ plea to release him, but in the meantime, (we) ask that you (the captors) please continue to keep him in good health and allow him to keep corresponding with us.”
What Can You Do To Help
It is the responsibility of every single member of this strong military community to stand with the Bergdahl family until he is safe on American soil. We cannot allow his story to be forgotten or buried; tell it often, share it with the deep conviction as if it were your loved one being held. His family and their supporters have set up websites, billboards, hosted rallies, and shared updates via social media.
You can offer words of encouragement and stay up to date via the following channels:
June 30 did not just mark another day on the calendar for this family; it was a reminder that someone we sent over to that combat zone was captured on our watch, and each and every one of us needs to fight to ensure he is not forgotten. The Top Commander in Afghanistan, Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford issued a statement marking the solemn milestone, “Four years later, we are still waiting for Sgt. Bergdahl’s safe return, and it is my sincere hope that the wait will soon come to an end; to Sgt. Bergdahl’s family, I want to say that we know you have not given up hope, and neither have we.” It is the responsibility of all Americans to stand watch, side by side, with his family until the moment Bowe is safe with his family again. Our thoughts remain with the Bergdahl family, and we pray for strength to guide them through these very tough days, weeks, and months.