Agony of Afghan captive's ex-girlfriend

Last updated 11:00 02/06/2014
Reuters

The parents of former captive soldier Bowe Bergdahl say they are proud of their son.

Bowe Berghdal
Reuters
FREE: US Army Sergeant Bowe Berghdal.
Monica lee
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MOVED ON: Monica Lee with her new boyfriend.

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The release of US soldier Bowe Bergdahl from five years in captivity in Afghanistan is causing a dilemma for his former girlfriend Monica Lee.

When Bergdahl, was taken hostage by the Taliban Lee waited for years for any news of his release - but the call never came.

Bergdahl would talk to Lee every day on Skype after he was first deployed to Afghanistan in May 2009, the Daily Mail reported.

He was captured when he wandered away from his camp a month later.

In a last message to Lee, Bergdahl told her to move on with her life, and not to wait for him, not knowing when he would be freed.

With his blessing, Lee found love with another man, Justin Forsdick.

Lee has remained close with Bergdahl's family, who were clearly supportive of her new life, with Bergdahl's mother commenting on a photo of Lee and Forsdick how happy she looked.

The saga echoes the storyline of US drama series Homeland, in which a marine returns home after being held by terrorists, only to find his wife has shacked up with his best friend - having both assumed he was dead.

On Saturday, Lee was hiking with friends in the mountains of Idaho, when she received a call from her mother that turned her life upside down - Bergdahl had been released.

"What should I do now?" Lee reportedly asked her mother Allison Lee, who said her daughter was a bit confused about what was going on, and hadn't been briefed about the situation lately.

Allison said her daughter was "over the moon" that Bergdahl had finally been freed.

His release came in an exchange deal in which five Taliban prisoners were freed from Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba.

US President Barack Obama told his parents yesterday: "Today, families across America rejoice in the joy you feel. We cannot wait for that moment you are reunited and have your son Bowe back in your arms."

Bob and Jani Bergdahl told a news conference in Boise, Idaho, that they could not wait to welcome him home, adding they had not yet spoken to their son.

''There is reason for that, and that is because Bowe has been gone for so long, that it is going to be very difficult to come back,'' Bob said.

''Bowe is still very resilient. He has passed though all the check points with flying colors.''

But he said the recovery process for his 28-year old son would take time.

''It is like a diver going deep on a dive and he has to stage back up through recompression to get the nitrogen bubbles out of the system. If he comes up too fast, it could kill him.''

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