After 5 long years in captivity, U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, 28, is free after a deal brokered with his captors.
Here is what you need to know:
1. He Was Captured By the Taliban in 2009
On June 30, 2009, the Taliban released a video of Bergdhal announcing that they had captured him when he had fallen behind during a patrol in the Paktika Province of Afghanistan.
You can watch that video above.
2. He Is Believed to Have Been Held in Pakistan
According to CNN, authorities believe that Bergdahl was held for a majority of the 5 years in Pakistan. It is unclear when he transferred back to where he was recovered by U.S. armed forces in Afghanistan.
3. He Broke Down Crying When He Got on the Helicopter
CNN reports that when Bergdahl climbed into the loud helicopter that took him away from his captors, he wrote a piece of paper, “SF?” to inquire if he was being rescued by Special Forces. The man sitting across from him reportedly yelled, “Yes, we’ve been looking for you a long time.” At which point Bergdahl began to cry.
4. 5 Guantanamo Bay Detainees Were Released to Qatar in Exchange
It appears that the U.S. government have been communicating with the Taliban and its affiliates in order to procure the release of Sgt. Bergdahl. Today Time reported that 5 Guantanamo Bay detainees have been released and are being sent to Qatar in exchange for Bergdahl’s release.
5. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel Released a Statement
Chuck Hagel released the following statement shortly after Bergdhal was recovered from his captures at around 10:30 a.m. Saturday morning.
A few hours ago, the family of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was informed by President Obama that their long wait for his return will soon be over. Sgt. Bergdahl is now under the care of the U.S. military after being handed over by his captors in Afghanistan. We will give him all the support he needs to help him recover from this ordeal, and we are grateful that he will soon be reunited with his family.