June 1 - The parents of U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, freed from captivity in Afghanistan after five years, say they are proud of their son and that they expect his recovery to take time. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
The parents of U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who was freed from captivity in Afghanistan after five years, told a news conference in Boise, Idaho, on Sunday (June 1) that they were aware of the long task ahead as their son adapts to being free.
Bob and Jani Bergdahl told reporters they had not yet spoken to their son. They began a news conference with an open message to him, saying how much they loved him and admired his resilience through the long years of captivity.
"Give yourself all the time you need to recover and decompress. There is no hurry," said Ms. Bergdahl.
Bowe Bergdahl was flown to a U.S. military hospital in Germany on Sunday after being freed in a swap deal for five Taliban militants who were released from the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba.
During the news conference, his father said he was most proud of how much his son had wanted to "help the Afghan people".
Bergdahl, from Idaho, was the only known missing U.S. soldier in the Afghan war that began soon after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.
The war was aimed at forcing the Taliban, accused of sheltering al Qaeda militants, from power.
Bergdahl was captured in unknown circumstances in eastern Afghanistan on June 30, 2009, about two months after arriving in the country.
Many U.S. government officials believe Bergdahl was captured after walking away from his unit in violation of U.S. military regulations. But a U.S. official has strongly suggested that Bergdahl was unlikely to be disciplined.
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