Video sparks hope for captured U.S. soldier’s family

BOISE, Idaho — The family of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was captured more than four years ago in Afghanistan, says a new video of the soldier believed to have been taken in the last month has bolstered its resolve to bring him home safely to Idaho.

U.S. officials confirmed Wednesday they’d received the video several days ago. They said it shows Bergdahl, now 27, in poorer health than previous footage taken in the years since he went missing in Afghanistan on June 30, 2009.

Bergdahl, from Hailey in central Idaho, is believed held by a group affiliated with the Taliban somewhere in Pakistan.

Irregular releases like this showing Bergdahl and his captors have offered hope for his parents their son will eventually be freed. This latest footage is no different, Bob and Jani Bergdahl said in a statement Wednesday.

“Naturally, this is very important to us and our resolve to continue our efforts to bring Bowe home as soon as possible,” their statement said. “As we have done so many times over the past four and a half years, we request his captors to release him safely so that our only son can be reunited with his mother and father.”

Bergdahl’s parents have dedicated themselves full-time to doing what they can from thousands of miles away to secure his freedom.

For instance, Bob Bergdahl has grown a long, thick beard and sought to learn Pashto, the language spoken by his captors.

And though he has largely shunned interviews with the media, he has become a frequent presence on Internet social media sites including Twitter, where he has posted hundreds of entries on issues connected to the U.S. war in Afghanistan, drone strikes in the region — and his son, including a tweet Wednesday afternoon.

“If you see this, continue to remain strong through patience,” Bob Bergdahl wrote. “Your endurance will carry you to the finish line. Breathe!”

Bergdahl’s family has been forced to remain patient, too.

So far, nothing has come of the Taliban’s proposal last June to free him in exchange for several of their most senior operatives now being detained at the U.S. detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

That offer lost steam after the Taliban only weeks later shuttered its newly opened office in the Gulf state of Quatar, abandoning a diplomatic approach while renewing its vow to fight Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s government.

Even so, residents of Hailey, where Bowe Bergdahl spent most of his first 23 years before enlisting in the Army, continue to adorn the resort town’s trees and utility poles with yellow ribbons, to keep him on their minds.

The U.S. officials who confirmed the video footage Wednesday were not authorized to publicly discuss the matter and spoke on condition of anonymity.

More in Local News

Former Monroe cop loses appeal on sex crimes conviction

Once a highly respected officer, he was found guilty of secretly videotaping his kids’ babysitter.

Derrick “Wiz” Crawford, 22, is a suspect in the homicide of his roommate. (Edmonds Police Department)
Roommate suspected in Edmonds killing found hiding in closet

Police had been searching for him for 10 days before locating him at a house in Everett.

Young woman missing from Mukilteo found safe

She called her parents and told them she was at a museum in Seattle.

Camano Island man gets 18 years for role in drug ring

He was convicted of helping lead a drug distribution network in four Washington counties.

Mom and brother turn in suspect in Stanwood robberies

The man is suspected of robbing the same gas station twice, and apologizing to the clerk afterward.

Lake Stevens man missing since beginning of January

Jason Michael Knox White hasn’t used his credit card or withdrawn money from his bank since then.

Navy to put filter in Coupeville’s contaminated water system

Chemicals from firefighting foam was found in the town’s drinking water.

Nichols Brothers Boat Builders apprentice Janette Alhanati (left) and journeyman Kurt Warwick construct wall panels for an upcoming boat project with Linblad Expedition Holdings. A federal grant from the Northwest Workforce Council will allow Nichols Brothers to add more apprentices to its workforce starting in January 2018.
Whidbey Island boatbuilder gets hiring boost

The grant from the Northwest Workforce Council will help expand the company’s apprenticeship program.

Video shows man suspected of attacking a woman in Edmonds

The man allegedly threw her on the ground, then ran away after the she began kicking and screaming.

Most Read