Bowe Bergdahl has been in captivity, held by the Taliban forces, since 2009. And since 2009 Rolling Thunder®, INC, has been riding for his freedom and to raise awareness for his plight. Their watchwords: “We Will Not Forget” may come to realization this year, as Taliban forces now seem ready to release the young POW.
For the last 5 years, nearly 2 dozen officials at the State and Defense departments have been working on the case to bring him home. Taliban forces, namely members of the Haqqani network, have been holding him at a private location in Afghanistan and have said that they would only release him in exchange for prisoners of their own who are being held at Guantanamo Bay. While they do claim allegiance to the Afghan Taliban, however, they do operate with a degree of autonomy, which may make it easier to obtain the release of Bergdhal.
Negotiations between the two sides have been at a standstill for years, marred by distrust. But now it seems that his captors are ready to release him. They are now reaching out to make a deal and have signaled their willingness to release him to the proper U.S. government officials.
Critics of the government have claimed that bureaucratic red tape has been the reason for his slow release. Too many government officials in charge of the Bergdhal effort may have been complicating the negotiations, not helping. In recent months, several officials have called for Obama to name one coordinator to oversee the entire Bergdhal effort.
Bowe Bergdhal was last seen alive in a proof of life videotape that was seen this December. Since then the Pentagon has explored several options to get Bergdhal released, including a prisoner swap. Yet there is congressional opposition to the prisoner swap because some of the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay have direct ties to Osama bin Laden.
This year, as in year’s past, Rolling Thunder® INC, will be riding their annual “Ride for Freedom” in honor of Sgt. Bowe Bergdhal. At the moment, there is hope that this year, we will be celebrating his release and return to the United States. Until then, they will remain hopeful and continue to raise awareness for all Prisoners of War and those who are still Missing in Action.
If you would like to ride for Bowe in this year’s Rolling Thunder® INC “Ride for Freedom”, its not too late. The ride will take place on May 25, 2014 weekend in Washington DC. It is a ride you will never forget! Come on out and ride and show your support for the many great men and women who have given their lives for our country and for those who are still unaccounted for.
For more information on Rolling Thunder® INC head to their website https://www.rollingthunder1.com/