For every day of the last nearly five years his parents have been fighting for their son, a U.S. soldier who’d been held captive by the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has finally been freed and is on his way home to Idaho.
Jani and Bob Bergdahl attended a Saturday evening Rose Garden ceremony at the White House with President Barack Obama.
Sgt. Bergdahl’s dad said the elation that he feels over the fact that he is finally free and safe is tempered by the reality of the road to normalcy that lies ahead.
“The complicated nature of this recovery will really never be comprehended,” said Bob Bergdahl. “We just can’t communicate the words this morning when we heard from the President,” he added. “So we look forward to continue the recovery of our son, which is going to be a considerable task for our family and we hope that the media will understand that that will keep us very preoccupied in the coming days and weeks as he gets back home to the United States.”
Earlier in the day, the sergeant’s parents released a short statement.
“Today, we are ecstatic!” the couple said. “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,” the parents said.
A website that has been pushing for Bergdahl’s freedom posted: “He’s free, he’s safe. He will be home soon!”
On Twitter, Bob Bergdahl tweeted: “To every single person who worked so hard to make this recovery possible, WE LOVE YOU! GOD IS GREAT AND HIS MERCY ENDURES FOREVER!”
To every single person who worked so hard to make this recovery possible, WE LOVE YOU! GOD IS GREAT AND HIS MERCY ENDURES FOREVER!
— Robert Bergdahl (@bobbergdahl) May 31, 2014
The Bergdahls are from the Rocky Mountain town of Hailey, Idaho, a tourist area known for skiing.
And the reactions from the community and politicians are coming in.
“We celebrate with Bowe, Bob and Jani Bergdahl today as this wonderful news brings an end to their five-year ordeal. We offer our thanks for the perseverance of the Bergdahl family and the many Idahoans who have kept this vigil,” said Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho).
Sheri Horton has the champagne ready as she and others prepare for her friend and former roommate Bowe to arrive back home.
“It’s very exciting,” Horton told CNN. “We’re all still kind of walking around on clouds. We’re all just waiting to get eyes on him. That’s going to be a topper.”