BOISE - Family of captured Idaho soldier Bowe Bergdahl released a statement on Thursday through their personal media spokesperson, Col. Tim Marsano, concerning a letter sent to them by Bowe.
Here is the Bergdahl Family's latest statement about what they received:
“Through the International Committee of the Red Cross, we recently received a letter we’re confident was written to us by our son Bowe. Our family is greatly relieved and encouraged by this letter, which gives us hope that Bowe is doing as well as can be expected under the circumstances. We thank the ICRC for all their assistance and support over these past four years. We want to also thank the many individuals, private groups and agencies who are working to support us and bring Bowe home. We hope Bowe’s captors will again consider his parents’ plea to release him, but in the meantime, we ask that you please continue to keep him in good health and allow him to keep corresponding with us.”
BOWE'S RED CROSS COMMUNICATION
An e-mail was also sent to us on Thursday by the International Committee of the Red Cross, concerning their communication with Sgt. Bergdahl and other detainees. Here's what Red Cross Communication Advisor Philippe Marc Stoll says:
"As part of it's humanitarian mandate, the ICRC facilitates contact between detainees and their families across Afghanistan. We do so for detainees in Afghan prisons, for persons held by foreign forces but also for persons held by the armed opposition groups. We have regular contacts with all parties to the conflict in Afghanistan who accept the ICRC's role as a neutral intermediary. The Red Cross Message service is available to all concerned families, including the family of Sergeant Bergdahl. To give you an sense of scale, we distribute some 25,000 humanitarian letters of this kind every year in Afghanistan alone. As regards dates of transmission and addressees of individual letters, you will understand that in the interest of the concerned detainees and families, we prefer not to share such details."
REACTION FROM FRIENDS
Boise Valley POW/MIA spokesman Dwight Murphy told KTVB he received an email from Bowe’s dad, Bob Bergdahl, stating the letter was scripted and redacted, but his son was no doubt alive and his faculties fully functioning as of two months ago.
"They are being very careful with him. He is still highly valued at high levels," the email from Bob Bergdahl to Dwight Murphy states.
Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who is from Hailey, Idaho, is believed to be in the custody of the Pakistan-based Haqqani network, which is labeled a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department.
"Bob wouldn't be sending this out to me and letting me know that Bowe wrote if he didn't know for sure," said Murphy. "It is definitely from Bowe."
Murphy said the letter is a couple months old, and Bob Bergdahl told him about the letter in an email last week. On Tuesday night, Bob Bergdahl told Murphy that he could make the news public.
"I was ecstatic. I know he's alive," said Murphy. "I feel it in my heart. We feel it every day, but that's confirmation."
Murphy said this letter keeps hopes alive that Bowe will return home.
"That brings new found hope. That's like sitting around a camp fire that's going out and all of a sudden you find that one more log to keep the fire going," Murphy said.
In an email to Murphy, Bob Bergdahl wrote: "Our hope is this will be reconciled through diplomatic arbitration. We pray for Bowe to have found peace somehow in the midst of all this."
Murphy said the family is keeping the content of Bowe's letter to themselves.
Yellow ribbons still hang from trees and businesses across the Wood River Valley. A special tree planting ceremony is scheduled for June 22 at Hop Porter Park in Hailey as part of a “Bring Bowe Back” event later this month.
The Boise Valley POW/MIA Corporation and other local groups are doing an awareness ride to Hailey that day, where Bob Bergdahl will ride Bowe's motorcycle in the "missing man formation."