For four and a half years, the Bergdahl family has been asking for the release of their son, Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was in his base Afghanistan when he was captured by the Taliban.
Bergdahl was 23 years old at the time of his capture on June 30, 2009, when he reportedly walked away from his base “carrying only a compass and a bottle of water.”
When he didn’t show up for morning roll call the next morning, some labelled him a deserter.
As drone video images recorded briefly after his capture reveal, soldiers led nighttime searches for the kidnapped solider, all of which returned without success.
Bergdahl’s base was in the southeastern part of Afghanistan. U.S. officials believe that he is currently being held hostage in Pakistan.
Last June, the Taliban said it would free Bergdahl in exchange for five senior officials that the United States was holding in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The United States intercepted a thumb drive containing the video of Bergdahl last week. Three years had elapsed since his captors last released a video.
In the recent video, the thin, frail man’s movements are shaky and clearly indicate a state of declining health. In the video, Bergdahl is making a reference to the recent death of Nelson Mandela, leading officials to estimate that the video is about a month old.
The Bergdahl family released a statement in which they beseech their son’s captors “to release him safely so that our only son can be reunited with his mother and father.”
“Bowe,” the message continued, “If you see this, continue to remain strong through patience. Your endurance will carry you to the finish line. Breathe!”
Pentagon officials have said that extensive efforts to locate Bergdahl are ongoing, and include both intelligence and surveillance equipment.
Bergdahl is the military’s only service member currently being held captive in Afghanistan.
Sources: USA Today, http://usnews.nbcnews.com
Photo Sources: http://supportbowe.org/