Captured June 30th, 2009
Visit the Bergdahl Family Website on Bowe at www.supportbowebergdahl.blogspot.com
Captured U.S. Soldier in Taliban Video Identified
Officials Say Captive Soldier Shown on Taliban Video Is Bowe Bergdahl, 23
By LUIS MARTINEZ and LAUREN COX
July 19, 2009
Department of Defense officials confirmed the identity of a captured American soldier in a video posted online Saturday by the Taliban.
Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl, 23, of Hailey, Idaho, went missing from his base in eastern Afghanistan on June 30. On July 3, officials declared him "missing-captured." Early in the video, a captor holds up the soldier's dog tag to the camera. Later Bergdahl states his name and hometown. Bergdahl is a member of 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, out of Fort Richardson, Alaska. Bergdahl is shown in the video sitting cross-legged with a shaved head eating a meal. During the footage, the camera frequently cuts back and forth to shots of Bergdahl answering questions in short, stilted sentences.
"I am scared -- scared I won't be able to come home," Bergdahl says in the video. "It is very unnerving to be a prisoner." Bergdahl, who appeared dressed in gray with the start of a beard, spoke of his family and the girlfriend he hopes to marry back home. For a moment, he began to break down and cry.
In subsequent shots, he was asked, "Any message to your people?"
He replied, "To my fellow Americans who have loved ones over here, who know what it's like to miss them, you have the power to make our government bring them home."
The 28-minute video features more question and answers about Bergdahl's view on the war, which he called extremely hard, and about Bergdahl's desire to learn more about Islam. The military first made Bergdahl's capture public on July 2, though he was believed captured on June 30.
A Department of Defense official told ABC News on Friday that if it hadn't been for the BBC reporting on the missing soldier on July 2, the military would have kept the capture quiet. The goal, he said, was to minimize the amount of information that might get back to his captors that might influence the military's search and recovery.