Family, hometown celebrate U.S. soldier’s release from Taliban


Balloons, symbolic yellow ribbons and celebratory signs sprouted up in the small mountain community of Hailey, Idaho, on Saturday after news that native son U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl had been freed after almost five years as a prisoner of the Taliban.Bergdahl’s parents said they were ecstatic to hear the news from President Barack Obama, whom they later joined at a news conference in the White House Rose Garden.”We were so joyful and relieved when President Obama called us today to give us the news that Bowe is finally coming home,” Bob and Jani Bergdahl said in a statement released through the Idaho National Guard. “We cannot wait to wrap our arms around our only son.”A senior U.S. defense official said the Bergdahls, who live in Hailey, happened to be in Washington when they got the news their son had been freed in a deal that resulted in five Taliban members held at the U.S. facility in Guantanamo, Cuba, being turned over to Qatar.

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