Today is BOWE TUESDAY 173. SGT Bowe Bergdahl has been held captive by enemies of America for 3 years, 3 months and 2 days; 173 weeks.
One can only imagine what life is like for Bowe. Another winter has begun and surely he wonders if he will ever make it back home. And he certainly must wonder if he’s been forgotten and prays that he hasn’t. When we try to imagine ourselves in Bowe’s situation, we realize that it is impossible to understand the depths of Bowe’s fear and desperation.
The following poem is by Robert Densmore. Robert served in Afghanistan. As you read it, consider how it could help one to understand more clearly Bowe’s experiences as an American soldier in Afghanistan.
City sand has its own taste
Not the country’s dust,
It’s stronger – bitter parts
Under infantry foot.
Under 500 years going and coming.
Kipling’s finest up and over –
Through the pass,
Through the places where soldiers stood
In stolid white snow.
Cemeteries in the pass where Alexander’s own
Fell on the square rocks.
Paved with smoothed over river rock,
This open grave – white, bare.
Kabul sand polishes everyone’s edges.
Tajiks sharp on the cusp
And Northern Alliance coming down
Hard in the fray.
They all want each other’s throats.
Their wives lost in the fight –
Save for pointed heels and
Gold bangled over fine red henna.
Eastern sand and southern sand,
Pakistan sand crooked as broken teeth,
Herati sand pure and rising to the top.
Nothing mixes and there is no space in between.
If God loved this place he doesn’t now.
If He breathed in the brass bullet casings
And the diesel air and spiteful prayers.
A place for lust and dirty children
And the things night can hide.
What things grown men can hide-
In the dark corners of their own children’s rooms.
In the big shadows of a capital with no master and no disciple.
No scope for all things to come together
The sand and the dust and the dirt that makes things grow-
When it is left alone.
But we’ve put our fingers in it
And the stirring and stamping won’t leave
Much for the growing.
Dust bowls and cyclone air will take the rest.
Every village is filled with it now –
Dust from our bombs and inside our APCs.
Dirt scrubbed from our rifle actions
And ground into our sweaty palms like Mississippi silt.
And still nothing grows.
I’ve taken a knee in seventeen villages –
On street corners and broken down roundabouts,
On highways and in shattered homes.
On helo pads and plywood chapel steps,
On the backs of dead men-
And screaming vile women.
They will, all of them, bend or break –
It is either them or me.
It’s either winning or losing
And putting in its place
What does not belong,
Sand of a different taste and hue
That cannot tell me it is sorry.
~ Robert Densmore, 2009
America currently has only one Prisoner of War from the War on Terror who has yet to be rescued. He is Sergeant Bowe Robert Bergdahl – US Army who was captured in Afghanistan on 30 June 2009.
We who seek to Bring Bowe Home understand that the idea of a Prisoner of War is not just a concept- a Prisoner of War is a real person with hopes, dreams and a desire to live. A Prisoner of War has a family who loves him or her and longs for their loved one to return home. We know these things and it fuels our effort to speak out for Bowe. We will not stop our work until Bowe comes home.
Please follow HERE to join us to remember Bowe and to show your support for him and his family.
Our thoughts and prayers are also with all of the brave of our nation whose service to America has placed them on the roll of those who are now counted as a Prisoner of War or as Missing in Action. Further, we hold close in our hearts their families whose lives have been changed forever. Our deepest prayers for these families is that they will someday receive the answer that they are waiting for. May all families be healed of the wounds that they have suffered. May every Prisoner of War who has returned home alive overcome the terror of their ordeal and would find peace and healing. We pray that every living Prisoner of War would be rescued and all who are Missing in Action would be accounted for. May all who have sacrificed know that they are never forgotten and that America will be forever grateful. May God Bless them all and God Bless America.
A Reuters news article published on August 7, 2012 offers glimmer of hope for the release of SGT Bowe Bergdahl.
From the article:
The Obama administration, in a move aimed at reviving Afghan peace talks, has sweetened a proposed deal under which it would transfer Taliban detainees from Guantanamo Bay prison in exchange for a U.S. soldier held by Taliban allies in Pakistan.
U.S. officials have hoped the prisoner exchange, proposed as a good-faith move in initial discussions between U.S. negotiators and Taliban officials, would open the door to peace talks between militants and the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
The revised proposal would send all five Taliban prisoners to Qatar first, said sources who spoke on condition of anonymity. Only then would the Taliban be required to release Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, the only U.S. prisoner of war.
Previously, U.S. officials had proposed dividing the Taliban prisoners into two groups, and requiring Bergdahl’s release as a good-faith gesture to come before the second group of prisoners would be moved out of Guantanamo.
Bergdahl, now 26 years old, disappeared from his base in southern Afghanistan in June 2009 and is believed to be being held by Taliban militants in northwestern Pakistan.
The White House and the Bergdahl family declined to comment on the revised proposal for a deal.
Bowe Supporters on Facebook were both excited and cautiously hopeful when they heard this news.
Also from the article (emphasis added):
U.S. officials stress that the transfer, if it occurs, will be done in accordance with U.S. law, which requires Congress to be notified before any detainees are moved from Guantanamo.
Now is the time for those supporting Sergeant Bergdahl to ramp up efforts to contact their Members of Congress to tell that it is time to Bring Bowe home. For more information about how to contact your elected officials, follow HERE.
Bowe Supporter Tommy Straight has started an online petition for SGT Bowe Bergdahl. The petition is designed to meet two goals. First, to raise awareness about Sergeant Bergdahl’s plight. Second, and most important, to send the message to Washington D.C. that many Americans believe that it’s well past time to bring Sergeant Bergdahl home. The petition is titled “President Obama: find and free SGT. BOWE BERGDAHL P.O.W. SINCE JUNE 30 2009 AFGHANISTAN”. (Of course, the petition’s title might need to be altered slightly in November depending on the outcome of the national elections.)
The short-term goal for the petition is to get as many signatures as possible by September 21, 2012, which is National POW*MIA recognition day. The long-term goal is to reach at least 100,000 signatures.
You will find links to the petition, as well as a downloadable flyer and a brief tutorial on what to do when signing the petition, by following HERE. There is also a Facebook page called “SGT Bowe Bergdahl’s Online Petition at change.org” that you can join to keep posted on the progress of the petition.
Please show your support for Sergeant Bergdahl by signing this petition and sharing it with others. Please use it as an opportunity to speak out for him as he cannot speak for himself.
The U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives will be in session for another two weeks before they go on break. This would be a very good week to leave a phone message for your Senators and Representative. The U.S. Capitol Switchboard can be reached by calling (202)224-3121. When you call, give them your Senators’ names or Representative’s name and tell them that you wish to be connected to their office. Be sure you jot down what you want to say beforehand so that you can get in everything you want tell them. Keep it brief. Be sure to let them know that you are counting on them to do everything in their power to see that Bowe’s release is obtained. Tell them that you want to be able to depend on them to support any effort brought before them to rescue him from his captors. Follow HERE to confirm who your Members of Congress are. If you use this link, you will be able to find the direct lines to your Members of Congress. The main switchboard will get you there also, they just have to connect you.
Please help to raise awareness about Bowe’s captivity by changing your Facebook profile picture today to one that brings attention to Bowe. Please make a special post asking your friends to also make a call to their Members on Congress. And PLEASE share this post. And when you share on Facebook, you’d be amazed at how many shares happen just because you shared on your timeline. And if you actually state on your post PLEASE SHARE, you’ll dramatically boost the chances of having someone else share your post. We all need to get Bowe’s name in front of as many people as possible. Follow HERE for our BOWE TUESDAY post on Facebook.
We continue to ask Twitter users to send out some tweets during the day to tell others about Bowe using hash tags #Bergdahl #bowetuesday #supportbowe #POW. You can top by Twitter and retweet some of ours: https://twitter.com/WaitingForBowe OR https://twitter.com/POWMIAvoice
If you’re new to BOWE TUESDAY, follow HERE for a little info that you might find interesting:
If you are interested in helping to get Bowe’s name out on Twitter, please follow this HERE for more information.
The work that is being done to bring Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl back home is truly a grassroots effort. People from all over the world have been contributing their own unique gifts and talents to bring attention to the the beginning of Bowe’s fourth year of captivity as a prisoner of war. Below you will find a sampling of how individuals and groups are showing their support.
The Week of Action and Prayer continues through July 1st. This an “anywhere you are” event so it’s easy for nearly everyone to be part of. Please join us an invite your friends. Check out the Event Page on Facebook.
The Bring Bowe Home WOD is a CrossFit event which is being hosted by CrossFit gyms in countries from around the world. This event will happen on Saturday, June 30th. The goal is to raise awareness about Sergeant Bergdahl and to gather donations which will be used to purchase billboard space. The billboards will contain a message asking people to contact their Members of Congress and other elected officials on Bowe’s behalf. Follow HERE for more information
Join BALLOONS AND BOWS FOR SGT BOWE BERGDAHL on Facebook. People from across America are showing their support for Bowe by displaying yellow ribbons and balloons on Saturday. This is a great thing to do individually or as a group.
D.J. Lee Bird will dedicate his Saturday online radio program to Bowe from noon until 4pm Eastern time. He will start out the program by reading “Bowe’s Prayer. The phone lines will be open for callers. This is being held in conjunction with the “2nd Annual ‘DAY OF UNITED PRAYER FOR POW SGT. BOWE BERGDAHL“. More information can be found on the Event Page on Facebook.
Bowe Supporters will be raising awareness by hosting events such as the “Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl Car Wash & Bake Sale Fundraiser” which is being held on June 30th in Port Angeles, Washington. (Starting 10:30 AM at the 76 Roadrunner Station, 1023 E. Front St.)
Groups such as Rolling Thunder Georgia-3 will be holding awareness rides.
Bowe Supporters across the country will be passing out information to the public in an effort to raise awareness during the weekend of June 30th. Be sure to check out our downloadable brochure and sign template that you can use in your advocacy work for Bowe.
Bowe Supporters who use Twitter will be sending out tweets over the weekend to remind others that June 3oth marks the beginning of Bowe’s third year of captivity.
People from across the nation and around the world will be praying on Bowe’s behalf throughout the weekend of June 30th.