HAILEY | The only American solider POW was freed from Taliban captivity in Afghanistan in May, in exchange for the release of five Afghan detainees from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was handed over to U.S. special forces by the Taliban in an area of eastern Afghanistan, near the Pakistani border.
President Barack Obama said Bergdahl's recovery was "a reminder of America's unwavering commitment to leave no man or woman in uniform behind on the battlefield."
In Bergdahl's hometown of Hailey, his parents, Bob and Jani Bergdahl, were joyful.
"We cannot wait to wrap our arms around our only son," his parents said. "...Today we are ecstatic!"
Bergdahl was captured by the Taliban after reportedly walking away from his base unarmed on June 30, 2009, five months after arriving in Afghanistan. Two U.S. officials told The Associated Press that Bergdahl had “just walked off” his base with three Afghans after his shift.
As word spread, a political whirlwind swirled. Some called him a traitor. Others planned a hero’s welcome.
The Army finished its investigation into how and why Bergdahl disappeared from his base and senior Pentagon leaders have been briefed.
Details about the probe's conclusion have been closely held. But they are likely to lay out whether Bergdahl deserted his post or was "absent without leave."
Now a top U.S. general in North Carolina will decide whether Bergdahl should be charged with desertion.