Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was handed over to U.S. special forces in May after nearly five years in captivity in Afghanistan. Here is a look at some of the key events from his capture to release:
June 30, 2009 — Bergdahl, who is serving with an Alaska-based infantry regiment, vanishes from a base in Afghanistan’s Paktika province near the border of Pakistan.
July 2, 2009 — Two U.S. officials tell The Associated Press on condition of anonymity that Bergdahl had “just walked off” his base with three Afghans after his shift.
July 6, 2009 —The Taliban claims that five days earlier a drunken American soldier had come out of his garrison and was captured by mujahedeen.
July 18, 2009 — Taliban posts video online showing Bergdahl saying he was “scared I won’t be able to go home.” Bergdahl also says he was lagging behind a patrol when he was captured.
July 19, 2009 — Pentagon confirms missing U.S. solider in Afghanistan is Pfc. Bowe R. Bergdahl, 23, of Ketchum, Idaho.
July 22, 2009 — More than 500 people attend a vigil in Hailey , Idaho, to show support for Bergdahl and his family
Dec. 25, 2009 — Bergdahl’s family releases a statement: “The Bergdahl family pleads with the captors to let our only son come home. To Bowe: We love you and we believe in you. Stay strong.”
Dec. 25, 2009 — The Taliban releases a video showing Bergdahl apparently healthy and making a lengthy statement criticizing the US military operation.
April 7, 2010 — Taliban releases 7-minute video showing Bergdahl pleading for his freedom and to be returned home.
June 30, 2010 — Dozens of people replace tattered and faded yellow ribbons in Hailey that went up after Bowe’s capture. The event becomes an annual affair.
Dec. 2, 2010 — A video produced by Manba al-Jihad, a video production group of the Haqqani network, is released on the website of the Taliban network. It briefly shows Bergdahl standing next to a smiling insurgent commander.
May 4, 2011 — A newly released Taliban video shows Bergdahl being blindfolded and led away by an insurgent. It appears to be a portion of the same video that was released in December.
May 6, 2011 — Bergdahl’s father, Bob Bergdahl, appeals to the Pakistani military for help in freeing his son in a video posted on YouTube.
June 16, 2011 — The Army announces that Bergdahl has been prompted from specialist to sergeant.
June 30, 2011 — Bergdahl’s parents mark the second anniversary of their son’s capture at hometown event.
Aug. 29, 2011 — US officials tell the AP that direct U.S. talks with the Taliban had evolved to a substantive negotiation before they were scuttled by Afghan officials who feared the talks would undercut President Hamid Karzai.
Jan. 4, 2012 — Bergdahl’s family is optimistic about a possible deal that would allow insurgents to open an office in Qatar with the aim of holding talks with the U.S.
May 9, 2012 — Bergdahl’s parents say they are hopeful that negotiations or a prisoner swap could bring their son home. Bob Bergdahl tells hometown newspaper that he’s concerned the U.S. government hasn’t done enough to secure his son’s release. The AP agreed in 2010 — at the request of the Pentagon and the White House — not to report on the proposed prisoner swap and ongoing negotiations, on the grounds that public discussion would endanger Bergdahl’s life. When Bergdahl’s parents began to discuss the deal publicly, the AP and other news organizations reported the proposed swap — a plan that would allow the transfer of five Taliban prisoners held at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Weekend of May 27, 2012 — President Barack Obama calls Bergdahl’s parents to assure them that he and the U.S. Department of Defense were doing everything in their power to free Bergdahl.
June 8, 2012 — Emails reportedly sent by Bergdahl to his parents before his capture suggest he was disillusioned and considered deserting, according to Rolling Stone magazine.
June 29, 2012 — Bergdahl’s family and hometown marks the third anniversary of his capture. Parents release a statement saying they hope he’s released this year and can return home.
June 6, 2013 — Bergdahl’s family say they’ve received a letter they believe was written by Bergdahl. The letter was delivered through the International Committee of the Red Cross.
June 20, 2013 — The Taliban proposes a deal in which they would free Bergdahl in exchange for five of their most senior operatives at Guantanamo Bay.
June 22, 2013 — Jani Bergdahl tells about 2,000 people gathered in Hailey for an annual rally that she’s feeling very optimistic about his eventual release.
July 9, 2013 — The Taliban close the office in Qatar that was serving as the site for negotiations with the U.S.
Jan. 15, 2014 — U.S. officials say they received a new video of Bergdahl that they believe was taken in the last month, showing Bergdahl is alive.
Feb. 18, 2014 — Bergdahl’s family says they are cautiously optimistic about reported renewed efforts by the Obama’s administration to win his freedom.
May 31, 2014 — Obama administration officials announce that Bergdahl was handed over to U.S. special forces by the Taliban in exchange for the release of five Guantanamo detainees. Bergdahl’s parents say they’re “joyful and relieved” their son is returning home. Some Republican lawmakers respond by accusing Obama of breaking the law by approving the release, and debate quickly erupts over whether Bergdahl is a hero or a deserter.