The parents of a U.S. soldier captured by terrorists say they will not talk to the press or answer personal questions, in fear that the information may harm their son.
The Defense Department has launched an aggressive search for 23-year-old Private First Class Bowe Bergdahl, who disappeared from his base in eastern Afghanistan three weeks ago. A recent video confirms the soldier is being held by the Taliban.
"We'd like to remind all of you our sole focus is seeing our beloved son Bowe safely home," the family said in the statement. "Please continue to keep Bowe in your thoughts and prayers, and we ask for your continued acceptance of our need for privacy."
The video posted on the Internet was the first glimpse of Bergdahl since he disappeared on June 30. U.S. military officials condemned the Taliban video showing Bergdahl in captivity, calling it a violation of international law.
"Well, I'm scared -- scared I won't be able to go home," Bergdahl said on the tape. "It is very unnerving to be a prisoner."
American soldiers are aggressively searching for him, on the ground and from the air. Planes are dropping leaflets over the region that read, "One of our American guests is missing. Return the guest to his home."
Bergdahl's home is the small town of Hailey, Idaho. Neighbors have lined the streets there with yellow ribbons as a sign of solidarity with the family.
On the video, Bergdahl became emotional when talking about his home and his family during the interview conducted by his captors.
"I have my girlfriend, who I was hoping to marry," he said. "I have my grandma and grandpas. I have a very, very good family that I love back home in America." The U.S. military knows it must find and rescue Bergdahl, before the Taliban moves him to Pakistan.
It is the hope and prayer of those back in his hometown.
"(We) hope that the United States government will rally around this young man," said resident Phil Handy. "He's ours and we'll take care of him."
In a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times about the Afghan war, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said, "U.S. forces must gain ground in Afghanistan by next summer to avoid public perception that the war is unwinnable."