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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Captured U.S. soldier's letter revives family's hopes

FYI - From Cristy Lenz/




-ADY "A Regular Guy On The Issues"

Captured U.S. soldier's letter revives family's hopes

From Cristy Lenz, CNN
updated 7:41 AM EDT, Thu June 6, 2013

In 2012: Honoring POW Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl

  • Letter: "He was no doubt alive"
  • "They are being very careful with him," Bergdahl's father writes
  • Bergdahl was captured after he finished his guard shift
  • His father believes a resolution is "getting closer"
(CNN) -- The family of Bowe Bergdahl, a U.S. soldier captured by the Taliban in 2009, received a letter from him recently -- reviving their hopes that the 27-year-old army sergeant is still alive.
Bergdahl's father mentioned receiving the letter in an e-mail exchange with Dwight Murphy, the spokesman for the local POW/MIA group in Boise Valley, Idaho.
"We have received a letter from Bowe through the Red Cross!" the father says in the exchange. "He was scripted and redacted but he was no doubt alive and his faculties fully functioning as of two months ago."
He did not say when he got the letter, but Murphy copied and pasted the exchange with the father on his Facebook page after receiving his permission to do so.
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2012: Remembering prisoners of war
The father's letter goes on say, "They are being very careful with him. He is still highly valued at high levels.
"Guantanamo, drones and politics in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Washington are still the big issues."
CNN was unable to reach the father late Wednesday night. The network also reached out to the military and the International Committee for the Red Cross for confirmation, but did not hear back.
Last week, the military told CNN it had no reason to believe Bergdahl was dead.
Whereabouts unclear
Bergdahl was captured after he finished his guard shift at a combat outpost in southeastern Paktika province in Afghanistan.
Since his capture, four videos of the Idaho native have been released.
But the last video was sent in February 2011, and it's unclear where Bergdahl is being held now.
He was a private at the time.
The army has been giving Bergdahl promotions that would have come to him had his army career gone as planned. If he returns home safely, the army will give him all the back pay that he has earned while in captivity.
His father has rarely spoken to the media.
Resolution close?
In his exchange with Murphy, he said he believed "we are getting closer to a resolution."
But, he added, there seems to be a disagreement among the Taliban about the direction forward.
"It appears at least several parties want to arbitrate captive SGT Bowe, several others ... want to keep fighting until every single Westerner is out," the father said.
Last year, Bergdahl's parents led the Rolling Thunder ride in Washington, and said the family holds out hope for his safe return.
"Bowe, your family has not forgotten you, your hometown has not forgotten you. Your state of Idaho has not forgotten you, and thanks to all of you here today, Washington D.C. has not forgotten you," his father told a cheering crowd.
"We love you, we are proud of you. Stay strong, never give up. We pray for the day that we welcome you home," he said.
Flanked by riders wanting to offer support for the safe return of his son, Bergdahl spoke separately to CNN. He sported a long beard and wore a bandana imprinted with "POW." His son's official status is listed as "missing/captured."
"The beard is a chronology," Bergdahl said, "of my son's captivity since June 30, 2009."

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