The Pentagon has received the first evidence in almost three years that captured Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is still alive.
The U.S. military has obtained a new “proof of life” video showing Bergdahl, now 27, and said to be the only U.S. soldier being held a prisoner of war, “in diminished health from the effects of close to five years in captivity,” CNN reported.
A military official confirmed the video made reference to December 14, 2013, but “would not specify exactly when the material was received or how it was obtained,” Stars and Stripes reported.
“Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has been gone far too long, and we continue to call for and work toward his safe and immediate release,” Pentagon spokeswoman Cmdr. Elissa J. Smith told Stars and Stripes. “We cannot discuss all the details of our efforts, but there should be no doubt that on a daily basis — using our military, intelligence and diplomatic tools — we try to see Sgt. Bergdahl returned home safely. Our hearts are with the Bergdahl family.”
Bowdrie “Bowe” Robert Bergdahl was 23 when he went missing in June 2009 and it is believed he has been a prisoner of the “Taliban-aligned Haqqani network in Pakistan,” CNN said.
The first video showing Bergdahl was released in July 2009, but he hasn’t been seen in almost three years.
The Bergdahl family has worked tirelessly with the U.S. government attempting to secure Bowe’s release, and CNN obtained the statement his family issued in response to the new video:
As we have done so many times over the past 4 and a half years, we request his captors to release him safely so that our only son can be reunited with his mother and father. BOWE – If see this, continue to remain strong through patience. Your endurance will carry you to the finish line. Breathe!
There are several websites and social media pages dedicated to bringing Bowe home, and many across the nation display yellow ribbons of support.
According to the CNN report, U.S. Central Command keeps a photo displayed of Bergdahl in its Florida headquarters, as his release continues to be top priority for the Defense Department.
Watch the CNN report here, then read,‘I’ve got a pen, and I’ve got a phone’: Obama says he’ll run right over Congress this year