Monday, July 20, 2009

Idaho resident captured by Taliban in Afghanistan

This much we do know: US Army PFC Bowe B. Bergdall became a captive of the Afghani Taliban on June 30. He was a member of an infantry regiment based at Ft. Richardson in Alaska and had joined the Army last fall. Before joining the military, he had been working as a barista in his hometown of Hailey, Idaho, where he was also active in ballet and fencing.

What is unclear and has not been officially clarified by the Defense Department is the circumstances surrounding his capture. His appearance on a Taliban video released two days ago confirmed his capture. Any comments about how he allowed himself to be captured must be considered to be conjecture at this point.

With this blog post I extend my thoughts and support to his family and friends. I join with them in begging the media (and other bloggers) to PLEASE respect their requests for total privacy during this difficult time. Now is not the time for the media to pressure family members for comments or interviews. Indeed, right now the best thing for the media to do is investigate whether it can help the Army secure his safe release and rescue in a reasonable time frame. In other words, for once, I would like to see the media working with, not against, the US military in the Islamic Middle East.

For my fellow bloggers and newspaper website story reader comment authors, I urge you to also respect the family’s request for privacy until they are ready to comment publically. In addition, please keep rumors, sarcastic and unfounded speculation and other negative comments to yourself. Such negativity only serves to increase their stress and pain, and the stress and pain felt in the Wood River Valley.

For those wanting to do something to help, well, if you are religious in some way, please include him in your prayers. One thing everyone can do is hope he is rescued sooner rather than later. To wax musical for a second, what else can be done? Well, "tie a yellow ribbon ‘round the old oak tree" is a healthy place to start.

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