published Saturday, June 22nd, 2013

Taliban offer adds urgency to Idaho POW rally

Bob Bergdahl, left, and wife, Jani, the parents of captive U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, talk at the "Bring Bowe Back" celebration held to honor Sgt. Bergdahl in Hailey, Idaho, Saturday, June 22, 2013. The father and mother of the only known U.S. prisoner of war plan to speak on Saturday afternoon to a big crowd in their central Idaho hometown just days after his Taliban captors announced they want to exchange him for prisoners being held at Guantanamo Bay.
Bob Bergdahl, left, and wife, Jani, the parents of captive U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, talk at the "Bring Bowe Back" celebration held to honor Sgt. Bergdahl in Hailey, Idaho, Saturday, June 22, 2013. The father and mother of the only known U.S. prisoner of war plan to speak on Saturday afternoon to a big crowd in their central Idaho hometown just days after his Taliban captors announced they want to exchange him for prisoners being held at Guantanamo Bay.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

HAILEY, Idaho — A U.S. prisoner of war’s mother said she’s feeling “very optimistic” after his Taliban captors offered last week to exchange him for prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s mother, Jani Bergdahl, spoke to about 2,000 people gathered Saturday in a central Idaho city park, 400 of whom arrived by motorcycle in leather and patches commemorating America’s military missing in action.

Bowe Bergdahl was taken prisoner in Afghanistan four years ago.

His parents spoke for 15 minutes about hopes that their son’s ordeal will soon come to a joyful close.

Bob Bergdahl, his father, urged those gathered to remember everyone, regardless of nationality, who had suffered during the 12-year conflict in Afghanistan.

He addressed his son’s captors in Pashto, the Afghan language he’s learned since Bowe Bergdahl went missing.

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