BOISE, Idaho (AP) – 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.
Associated Press writer Baldor reported from Washington, D.C.
(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- Tips to get ready for a pain-free golf season
- Protect your family with these 7 home security features
- How to train like an Olympic swimmer
- 2016 Olympics: A guide to must-see TV events
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets