Obama, Standing Next to POW’s Parents, Praises the Return of Missing Soldier

While being held captive for five years, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl “was never forgotten,” the president said.

President Obama, speaking to the parents of American POW Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, at the White House Rose Garden Saturday.
National Journal
Matt Vasilogambros
Add to Briefcase
Matt Vasilogambros
May 31, 2014, 2:41 p.m.

Stand­ing next to the par­ents of re­covered Amer­ic­an POW Sgt. Bowe Ber­g­dahl, Pres­id­ent Obama re­af­firmed the com­mit­ment the United States has to its miss­ing sol­diers of war.

“This morn­ing, I called Bob and Jani Ber­g­dahl and told them that after nearly five years in cap­tiv­ity, their son Bowe is com­ing home,” Obama said, saddled by the par­ents in the White House Rose Garden. “While Bowe was gone, he was nev­er for­got­ten.”

The pres­id­ent thanked both the gov­ern­ment of Afgh­anistan for its sup­port as the war winds down, and the gov­ern­ment of Qatar, which helped fa­cil­it­ate the ex­change of Ber­g­dahl and five pris­on­ers from the de­ten­tion cen­ter at Guantanamo Bay. Obama con­firmed that he spoke to the emir of Qatar last week about the ex­change.

Ber­g­dahl was held in cap­tiv­ity by the Taliban for the last five years after he re­portedly left a U.S. base. Right now, he is cur­rently at a base in Afgh­anistan un­der­go­ing a med­ic­al eval­u­ation. Obama said his “top pri­or­ity” is to give Ber­g­dahl the care he needs.

“The United States does not ever leave our men and wo­men in uni­form be­hind,” the pres­id­ent con­tin­ued. “I am mind­ful that there are many troops who re­main miss­ing from wars past. That’s why we will nev­er for­get, nor give up our search.”

Ber­g­dahl’s par­ents met with Obama in the White House on Sat­urday. After speak­ing, the pres­id­ent gave the par­ents a chance to speak.

“We will con­tin­ue to stay strong for Bowe,” his moth­er Jani said, smil­ing.

Bob Ber­g­dahl, speak­ing next, said his son is hav­ing trouble speak­ing Eng­lish, and had a mes­sage, say­ing it in Pashto and in Eng­lish.

“I am your fath­er, Bowe,” he said.

As the three left the Rose Garden, Obama hugged both par­ents. “Yes, it’s a good day,” Jan said hug­ging the pres­id­ent.

What We're Following See More »
Doesn’t Express Confidence in Marino
Trump to Declare Opioid Emergency Next Week
1 hours ago
THE LATEST

After initially promising it in August, "President Trump said Monday that he will declare a national emergency next week to address the opioid epidemic." When asked, he also "declined to express confidence in Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.), his nominee for drug czar, in the wake of revelations that the lawmaker helped steer legislation making it harder to act against giant drug companies."

Source:
INTERVIEW THIS WEEK
Trump Still Considering Yellen For Fed
9 hours ago
THE LATEST

"President Donald Trump plans to formally interview Janet Yellen this week about potentially staying on as Federal Reserve chair, two people familiar with the matter said...Many Republicans on Capitol Hill want Trump to move on from Yellen, whose first term ends in February, and choose a more traditionally conservative Fed chair."

Source:
NOMINEE FOR ONDCP
Trump Noncommittal on Marino
9 hours ago
THE DETAILS
IN LIGHT OF 60 MINUTES REVELATIONS
Manchin Asks Trump to Drop Marino’s Nomination for Drug Czar
11 hours ago
THE LATEST
WOULD OVERTURN MARINO LEGISLATION ON DRUG DISTRIBUTORS
McCaskill Will Introduce Bill in Response to “60 Minutes” Scoop
11 hours ago
THE DETAILS

In the wake of Sunday's blockbuster 60 Minutes/Washington Post report on opioid regulation and enforcement, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) has introduced legislation that "would repeal a 2016 law that hampered the Drug Enforcement Administration’s ability to regulate opioid distributors it suspects of misconduct." In a statement, McCaskill said: “Media reports indicate that this law has significantly affected the government’s ability to crack down on opioid distributors that are failing to meet their obligations and endangering our communities."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login