To The Daily Sun,
Bowe Bergdahl, a soldier from Idaho, is on American soil after nearly five years in the hands of the Taliban in Afghanistan. Seemingly invisible for all that time, he has been the subject of media intense concern since his release and return to the United States.
Media ignorance and governmental avoidance have plagued POW/MIA advocates for decades, and offered us challenges that were and are huge impediments to our fulfilling our pledge and a tragic disservice to those we attempt to serve.
For those who know the Northeast POW/MIA Network and many who joined us in our drive to make Bowe's return a reality, may I first extend my sincerest and most heartfelt appreciation? I don't know how many of you were encouraged by the concerns and information we presented, but, please, understand that we were offered nothing by the U.S. government in this instance and, based on decades of POW/MIA activism/advocacy, anything we might have been given would have been scrutinized very carefully and required corroboration by multiple sources before being accepted as fact.
The family's request for privacy was honored every step of the way, but limited opportunity for direct communication, also, made this journey much more difficult. Our efforts were apolitical and coincident with the founding goals of this organization: The return of all live American POW/MIAs, repatriation of the remains of those who have not survived, and comprehensive explanations for cases where the previous two options do not exist.
Once Bowe was listed as a Prisoner of War, our responsibility was clear, and we pursued it with vigor, and an American soldier came home.
Bowe made it home amid a barrage of information from every possible corner. To date, separating fact from fiction remains a herculean endeavor. He faces an exhaustive journey the result of which remains unknown. But one fact is certain: His life and those of his family and loved ones have been altered forever.
I will never know what part the Network played in this entire process, but I remain firm in my belief that we adhered to the dictates of our organization and I neither regret our involvement nor offer any excuses. Our stance remains solid and unaltered. Should another American in uniform find himself/herself in enemy hands — and I hope they won't — our response will be one of focused, unrelenting resolve.
Giving up is not a choice.
Donald C. Amorosi, President
The Northeast POW/MIA Network
South Glens Fall, N.Y.