Governor: 'We join all of Idaho and America in expressing our joy'

Governor: 'We join all of Idaho and America in expressing our joy'
FILE - This June 21, 2013 file photo shows a yellow ribbon honoring captive U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl tied to a tree in Hailey, Idaho. The nearly five-year effort to free the only American soldier held captive in Afghanistan is scattered among numerous federal agencies with a loosely organized group of people working on it mostly part time, according to two members of Congress and military officials involved in the effort. An ever-shrinking U.S. military presence in Afghanistan has re-focused attention on efforts to bring home Bergdahl, who has been held by the Taliban since June 30, 2009. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) -- Idaho's elected leaders are expressing gratitude and happiness over news of Idaho soldier Bowe Bergdahl being back in United States custody.

Governor Otter: "Miss Lori and I couldn't be happier. Bowe has been in all our prayers for years. So his release from Taliban captivity is cause to continue our prayers - now in gratitude for their fulfillment. We join all of Idaho and America in expressing our joy and welcoming this wonderful news. We look forward to Sgt. Bergdahl's safe return to Idaho and his reunion with family, friends, and all those who have rallied around them. Today, Idaho gives thanks. Soon we all will celebrate Bowe's freedom and homecoming."

U.S. Senator Mike Crapo:

"We celebrate with Bowe, Bob and Jani Bergdahl today as this wonderful news brings an end to their five-year ordeal," said Idaho Senator Mike Crapo.  "Our prayers have been answered and we offer our thanks for the perseverance of the family and the many Idahoans who have kept this vigil.  We appreciate the men and women who made this release possible.  I was able to speak with Bob this morning and convey my feelings and look forward to an Idaho reunion. Today's release is a reminder that we still have many brave men and women on our front lines that we must bring home safely as well."

U.S. Senator Jim Risch:

"It is welcome news that Sergeant Bergdahl has been released," said Idaho Senator Jim Risch. "Bowe has been held for five years against his will by the Taliban and Haqqani network.  I can only imagine the joy and relief that Bowe and his family are feeling at this moment."

U.S. Congressman Mike Simpson:

"I couldn't be more pleased with the news of Bowe Bergdahl's release and the ending of a nearly five-year nightmare for Bowe and his parents, Bob and Jani Bergdahl," said Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson.  "The prayers of people across Idaho and the nation have been answered and Bowe will soon be headed back to the town he calls home -- Hailey, Idaho.  We are all grateful for the tireless efforts of innumerable people within the Department of Defense and Department of State in securing Bowe's release and for the work of those who have been seeking Bowe's safe return for years."

Boise Mayor Dave Bieter: "After far too long, Bowe Bergdahl's family will welcome their son home. Wonderful news for Idaho and the nation."

U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador: "I am thrilled that Bowe Bergdahl has been freed and will soon be reunited with his parents.  Like many Idahoans, I have been praying for his safe return home.  We are all thankful this day has finally come."

Idaho Democratic Party Chairman Larry Kenck: "We are happy to join the many Idahoans today who are celebrating news that U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has been released from captivity in Afghanistan and is now in American hands. This has been a terrible ordeal for Sgt. Bergdahl and his family here at home. We thank President Obama for his commitment to recovering Bowe Bergdahl and for following through on that commitment."