The following is an open letter from Prisoner of War/Missing in Action, Connecticut Forget-Me-Nots Inc.

We welcome Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl to freedom and celebrate his return to family and friends in his homeland.

Sgt. Bergdahl was captured June 30, 2009, in Afghanistan. Six videos of Bowe, alive in captivity, have been released.

During the spring of 2013, his parents received a letter from him via the Red Cross. Evidence of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's survival, while held by the Haqqani Network in Afghanistan, was released Jan. 15.

The death of Nelson Mandela was mentioned in this video to provide an authentic timeframe.

The question has been raised: Should the United States have secured Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's freedom in exchange for the release of five Taliban prisoners?

We support the decision to exchange five Taliban prisoners for Bowe's release. We do not believe his release, after five years of captivity, would have been possible had the exchange not taken place.

Consider this information:

Whenever Americans are in danger, whether it is a result of national disasters, an area in need of peacekeepers, or help is needed to secure freedom for others, the United States military is called upon to serve.

These are trained individuals, rapid response teams, Americans willing to risk their lives for others.

During the summer of 2009, former President Bill Clinton embarked on a mission to Korea to bring two young female journalists home to their families.

The release of three hikers who strayed into Iranian territory was also secured.

The Israelis have exchanged Palestinian prisoners for Israeli POWs.

In June 1985, 1,100 Palestinians were exchanged for three Israeli POWs.

In 2011, 1,027 Palestinian POWs were exchanged for Sgt. Gilad Shalit, who had been held captive for five years.

Benjamin Netanyahu has stated there is an infinite number of civilian hostages. But trained military personnel are a finite number.

Therefore we should find the means necessary, whatever it may be, to secure their release. We are dependent upon the strength, dedication, and skills of our military personnel.

Welcome home, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

Kathy Shemeley



CT Forget-Me-Nots

New Milford