Editor’s Note: Following are statements issued Saturday on the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl of Hailey.
Today the American people are pleased that we will be able to welcome home Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, held captive for nearly five years. On behalf of the American people, I was honored to call his parents to express our joy that they can expect his safe return, mindful of their courage and sacrifice throughout this ordeal.
Today we also remember the many troops held captive and whom remain missing or unaccounted for in America’s past wars. Sgt. Bergdahl’s recovery is a reminder of America’s unwavering commitment to leave no man or woman in uniform behind on the battlefield. And as we find relief in Bowe’s recovery, our thoughts and prayers are with those other Americans whose release we continue to pursue.
For his assistance in helping to secure our soldier’s return, I extend my deepest appreciation to the Amir of Qatar. The Amir’s personal commitment to this effort is a testament to the partnership between our two countries. The United States is also grateful for the support of the Government of Afghanistan throughout our efforts to secure Sgt. Bergdahl’s release.
This week the United States renewed its commitment to the Afghan people and made clear that we will continue to support them as their chart their own future.
The United States also remains committed to supporting an Afghan-led reconciliation process as the surest way to achieve a stable, secure, sovereign and unified Afghanistan. While we are mindful of the challenges, it is our hope Sgt. Bergdahl’s recovery could potentially open the door for broader discussions among Afghans about the future of their country by building confidence that it is possible for all sides to find common ground.
Bob and Jani Bergdahl:
“We were so joyful and relieved when President Obama called us today to give us the news that Bowe is finally coming home! We cannot wait to wrap our arms around our only son. We want to thank Bowe’s many supporters in Idaho, around the nation and around the world. We thank the Amir of Qatar for his efforts. And of course, we want to take this opportunity to thank all those in the many U.S. Government agencies who never gave up. Today, we are ecstatic!”
Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter:
“Miss Lori and I couldn’t be happier. Bowe has been in all our prayers for years. So his release from Taliban captivity is cause to continue our prayers – now in gratitude for their fulfillment. We join all of Idaho and America in expressing our joy and welcoming this wonderful news. We look forward to Sgt. Bergdahl’s safe return to Idaho and his reunion with family, friends and all those who have rallied around them. Today, Idaho gives thanks. Soon we all will celebrate Bowe’s freedom and homecoming.”
Sen. Mike Crapo:
“We celebrate with Bowe, Bob and Jani Bergdahl today as this wonderful news brings an end to their five-year ordeal. Our prayers have been answered and we offer our thanks for the perseverance of the family and the many Idahoans who have kept this vigil. We appreciate the men and women who made this release possible. I was able to speak with Bob this morning and convey my feelings and look forward to an Idaho reunion. Today’s release is a reminder that we still have many brave men and women on our front lines that we must bring home safely as well.”
Sen. Jim Risch:
“It is welcome news that Sgt. Bergdahl has been released. Bowe has been held for five years against his will by the Taliban and Haqqani network. I can only imagine the joy and relief that Bowe and his family are feeling at this moment.”
Rep. Mike Simpson:
“I couldn’t be more pleased with the news of Bowe Bergdahl’s release and the ending of a nearly five-year nightmare for Bowe and his parents, Bob and Jani Bergdahl. The prayers of people across Idaho and the nation have been answered and Bowe will soon be headed back to the town he calls home — Hailey, Idaho. We are all grateful for the tireless efforts of innumerable people within the Department of Defense and Department of State in securing Bowe’s release and for the work of those who have been seeking Bowe’s safe return for years.”
Rep. Raul Labrador :
“I am thrilled that Bowe Bergdahl has been freed and will soon be reunited with his parents. Like many Idahoans, I have been praying for his safe return home. We are all thankful this day has finally come.”
Idaho Democratic Party Chairman Larry Kenck:
“We are happy to join the many Idahoans today who are celebrating news that U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has been released from captivity in Afghanistan and is now in American hands. This has been a terrible ordeal for Sgt. Bergdahl and his family here at home. We thank President Obama for his commitment to recovering Bowe Bergdahl and for following through on that commitment.”