SGT Bowe Bergdahl lands on U.S. soil

Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl arrived in Texas early Friday, 13 June, returning to the U.S. after spending nearly five years as a captive of Taliban-aligned insurgents in Afghanistan.

The Pentagon confirmed around 3:35 a.m. ET that Sergeant Bergdahl had landed in San Antonio.  He was taken to Brooke Army Medical Center, where he will continue treatment initiated at a U.S. military hospital in Landstuhl, Germany. He’d been recuperating there since May 31, the day he was released by the Haqqani network.

Officials at an afternoon press conference described Sergeant Bergdahl’s condition as stable. “We’re pleased with his physical state. He was able to walk into the hospital in a functional manner. We’re going to be planning more comprehensive testing,” said Col. Ronald Wool, admitting physician at Brooke Army Medical Center.

Army doctors say Sergeant Bergdahl is getting better physically, but needs more time to recover emotionally and psychologically after being held captive for five years. He will not make any public appearances during this phase of his reintegration, and the Pentagon said there would be no media access to his stay.

“Our first priority is making sure that Sgt. Bergdahl continues to get the care and support he needs,” Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said. Kirby added that there was “no timeline” for Bergdahl’s reintegration process.

Maj. Gen. Joseph DiSalvo told reporters he’d seen Bergdahl for approximately 60 seconds. They exchanged salutes and the soldier “looked good … had good deportment,” DiSalvo said.

This next phase of his recovery will likely not be as intense as what he underwent at the U.S. military hospital in Germany, Chris Heben, a former Navy SEAL commenting on the case.

“Emotionally, it’s probably almost surreal for him,” Heben said. “He’s back in the U.S., and he’s no longer under that intense microscope where he was at Landstuhl from a medical standpoint of psychiatric evaluation”

Sergeant Bergdahl’s full physical recovery may take months; his public rehabilitation will likely take longer.

The Bergdahl family, meanwhile, has asked for continued privacy in a statement released Friday on their behalf by military officials.

“While the Bergdahls are overjoyed that their son has returned to the United States, Mr. and Mrs. Bergdahl don’t intend to make any travel plans public,” the statement reads. “They ask for continued privacy as they concentrate on their son’s reintegration.”

Sergeant Bergdahl has not yet spoken to his family and his parents were not present for his arrival. “It isn’t over for us,” Bergdahl’s father, Bob, told reporters last week. “In many ways, it’s just beginning for Jani and I, and our family. There’s a long process here.”

Sgt.  Bowe Bergdahl arrived in Texas on 13 June 2014

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl arrives in Texas early Friday, 13 June, returning to the U.S. after spending nearly five years as a captive of Taliban-aligned insurgents in Afghanistan.

 

Sgt Bowe Bergdahl: Handover from Taliban to U.S. Special Forces

While this video is still being reviewed by the Pentagon for authenticity (at the time of this post), a Pentagon spokesperson said it appears the video is indeed that of  the  handover of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl from the Taliban to members of the United States Special Forces.  The video was originally obtained from a Jihadist website.  In the video, Bowe seems slightly confused about the event that is taking place.  One can see how much he has aged during the five years that he was held captive.  In the video, Special Forces members are seen to quickly accept the transfer of  Bowe and then hurry him to the waiting Black Hawk helicopter.  Before Bowe is released, one of the Taliban fighters warns him “Don’t come back to Afghanistan.”  The entire handover only takes seconds. The handover reportedly took place in Khost Province in Eastern Afghanistan near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow HERE to read more about the handover and to watch the video

 

 

Contact Congress During the 3 Days of Action and Prayer for Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl

During the 3 Days of Action and Prayer that are being held November 27-29, many Bowe Supporters are joining together to contact their Members of Congress by mail, email and telephone.  Please add your voice by doing the same.  Below are a few copies of letters that have been submitted by some Bowe Supporters.  At the bottom of the page, you’ll find a sample of a letter that you can use.

The Honorable Patty Murray
988 Jackson Federal Building
915 2nd Avenue
Seattle, Washington 98174

Dear Senator Murray:

Army Sergeant Bowe R. Bergdahl has been a prisoner of the Taliban for nearly three and a half years.  I have closely followed the details of his situation for quite awhile now.  I’m very concerned that he continues to be held captive. I know that I’m not alone in my concern. I realize that there are details that the general public doesn’t know that are likely going on in secrecy- I do hope so.  I respectfully ask that you would be an advocate for Sergeant Bergdahl and that you would support every opportunity that would present itself to bring him home.  Senator Murray, I’m counting on you to do this.  Supporting Sergeant Bergdahl is the right thing to do.

Sincerely,

Karen P.

The Honorable Saxby Chambliss
United States Senate
416 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-1004

Dear Senator Chambliss,

As a member of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel, I know that you are fully informed on the situation of Sergent Bowe Bergdahl.  I have two sons serving in the United States Army.  Having a child taken prisoner by hostile forces is one of the worst nightmares a parent could face.  I have great compassion for Sergeant Bergdahl’s family as well as for Sergeant Bergdahl himself.  I have read reports stating that there were negotiations for Sergeant Bergdahl’s release attempted earlier in the year but they fell through.  In reading these reports, it seems to me, however, that obtaining Sergeant Bergdahl’s release is secondary to the desires to begin peace talks with the Taliban.  It appears that Sergeant Bergdahl’s release is being used as a means to an end and not being viewed as a stand alone goal.  By using Sergeant Bergdahl’s release as a means to an end, there runs a great risk that any effort or opportunity to obtain his release would become mired in political wranglings.  Neither I nor thousands of other Americans who are advocating for Sergeant Bergdahl’s rescue want to see this happen.  I am asking you to please keep Sergeant Bergdahl’s rescue a top-level priority and not secondary goal.  I would also ask that you would publicly advocate for Sergeant Bergdahl and ask your fellow Congress Members to do the same. Please support every and all opportunities to obtain his release.

Respectfully,

James H,

(email below to Representative Bill Huizenga of Michigan)

Dear Congressman Huizenga,

I would like to bring to your attention to the only American service member serving in Afghanistan who is being held captive by enemy forces.  I’m quite sure that you have heard about him but I would like you to understand how important it is for you to publicly show your support for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.  I want to be confident that you will actively support efforts to gain his freedom and that you’ll urge your colleagues in Congress to do this also.  This is very important to me as well as to many others who are seeking Sgt. Bergdahl’s release. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Cynthia J.

(The following is directed to United States Representive Robert E. Andrews of New Jersey)

Honorable Robert E. Andrews,

SGT Bowe Bergdahl has been held captive for 177 weeks = 1239 days = 29,736 hours = 3 yrs + 4 mo + 3 wks T O O L O N G He needs to come home and I am writing this letter with high hopes that when I voted for you, I did not misjudge the kind of man you are. Please do all in your power to help make this happen. Wake up the powers that be and have them realize that this man’s family needs him! Thank you for your time. Please help.

Florence G.

SAMPLE LETTER:

The Honorable (full name)
(Room #) (Name) Senate Office Building
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator (last name):

As you are aware, Sergeant Bowe R. Bergdahl, United States Army, has been held captive by Taliban allied insurgents since 30 June 2009.  Press releases by official representatives of both government and the military have stated that the search for Sergeant Bergdahl continues and that all that can be done to return him to the United States is being done.  Unfortunately, given that Sergeant Bergdahl has been held captive by enemies of America for over three years, these assurances are beginning to ring hollow to those who are advocating for him.  I understand that obtaining his release is challenging due the complexity of the situation that he is in.  It is difficult to understand, however, why the force of the most powerful nation in the world has failed to accomplish his release.  This failure sends a terrible message to all who serve in America’s Armed Forces as well as to their families and to the Nation as a whole.  The hundreds of thousands of supporters of Sergeant Bergdahl across our country have been waiting for real results in the effort to bring him home yet have been sadly disappointed.  We are seeking the committed and visible support by our Members of Congress in the effort to obtain Sergeant Bergdahl’s release.

Senator (name), it is my sincere hope that you will support any opportunity that might present itself to obtain Sergeant Bergdahl’s release.  Further, I would hope that any political differences between parties that could affect him negatively would be set aside for his sake- his life depends on it.  I also ask that you educate your entire staff about Sergeant Bergdahl’s plight.  Further, please share his story with as many people as you are able to. Finally, please encourage your colleagues in Congress to also actively support Sergeant Bergdahl and to support any opportunity to gain his freedom.  This young soldier needs your voice as he cannot speak for himself.  I am counting on you to do these things because they are the right thing to do.

Respectfully,

(your full name)

(your address)

(your phone number)

For more tips on how to contact your Members of  Congress and for the phone number that you can call to leave a message for them, please follow HERE.

Follow HERE to find out who your Members of Congress are.  Click on the name that you want and it will take you to a page that lists contact info for that person.

Please JOIN Bowe’s 3 day event and show your support. Please INVITE everyone you know to join us all in our effort to bring Bowe home. This is an “anywhere you are event” so nearly everyone can be involved. Follow HERE to the event page on Facebook.