National news media report U.S. military officials have obtained recent video footage of missing Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, of Hailey, Idaho, who fell into Taliban hands while deployed to Afghanistan in 2009. Bergdahl remains the only American prisoner of war in both the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts.
The new footage, reportedly the first in three years, has not been publicly released, but is said to include references to the recent death of former South African president Nelson Mandela. Officials have described the video as "proof of life" as Bergdahl's captivity has stretched more than four and a half years.
A new statement from Bergdahl's family in Idaho called for a resolution to his long imprisonment:
Today we learned that a new video of our son, U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, has been distributed by his captors.
Naturally, this is very important to us and our resolve to continue our efforts to bring Bowe home as soon as possible.
As we have done so many times over the past 4 and a half years, we request his captors to release him safely so that our only son can be reunited with his mother and father.
They also encouraged Bergdahl to persevere: "BOWE — If you see this, continue to remain strong through patience. Your endurance will carry you to the finish line. Breathe!"
We wrote about Bergdahl and local efforts to support his safe return home last July following the fourth anniversary of his disappearance.