Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Bergdahl workout goes global

5B Crossfit event raises money for Higher Ground

Express Staff Writer

Valley resident Bob Bergdahl pulls off a box jump at Nelson Field in Hailey while participating in a 5B Crossfit fundraiser for Sun Valley Adaptive Sportsí Higher Ground veteran rehabilitation program. Photo by Willy Cook

Last weekend's workout challenge commemorating the third anniversary of Hailey-area soldier Bowe Bergdahl in captivity was similarly repeated in gyms across the globe.

The Bring Bowe Home Workout of the Day took place here at Nelson Field in Hailey, with more than 40 people—including Bowe's father, Bob Bergdahl—participating in the event.

Money raised here was donated to the Sun Valley Adaptive Sports Higher Ground veteran rehabilitation program.

Similar workout events were repeated at 65 gyms around the country and in several foreign countries, where money has been raised for billboards aimed at bringing awareness to the plight of America's only known captured soldier.

Bergdahl was captured on June 30, 2009, by Taliban militants in the Patika province of Afghanistan. The circumstances surrounding his disappearance have never been stated definitively by military sources, but recent interviews with the soldier's father indicate that he may have walked off his base for ethical reasons.

"Three years later, Sergeant Bergdahl remains a prisoner of war in Afghanistan while the Taliban attempts to barter with America for his life in an effort to further its militant agenda," states the Bring Bowe Home WOD website, which as of Tuesday had 1,736 "likes" on Facebook.

In a statement released through the Idaho National Guard, the Bergdahl family said, "We would like to thank the organizers and participants in a number of events around our nation who have rallied to bring awareness to our cause of bringing Bowe home. The yellow ribbons we see all around our own community remind us that our son has not been forgotten here at home or around the world.

"We'd also like to ask each of you as individuals and as a nation for your continued awareness as Bowe begins his fourth year as a prisoner. We want this to be the year we see our only son safely returned home."

The U.S. Department of Defense issued a news story by Claudette Roulo of the American Forces Press Service on June 8 indicating that military personnel continue to search for the captured soldier.

The story reports that Navy Capt. John Kirby told reporters that "freeing Army Sgt. Bowe R. Bergdahl is a constant focus for commanders in Afghanistan."

"Every day ... there is time, attention and sometimes substantial resources applied to trying to locate, identify where he is and to continue to look at options for how to get him home," Kirby said.

Tony Evans:

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