Bowe R. Bergdahl
, 23, of Ketchum, Idaho, who went missing from his
base in eastern Afghanistan June 30.
(pronounced BOH) R. Bergdahl, 23, who was serving with an Alaska-based infantry regiment.
The private was last seen walking away from his
base near the border with Pakistan in an area known to be a Taliban stronghold.
Even before his
name became public, two U.S. defense officials confirmed to The Associated Press
that the man in that 28-minute video was the captured soldier.
The video, in which Bergdahl
was "scared I won't be able to go home," provided the first public glimpse of the missing American.
The Pentagon statement said Bergdahl's
whereabouts became unknown on July 1 and his
status was changed July 3 to missing-captured.
It wasn't clear who initially captured Bergdahl
, but the U.S. command in Afghanistan said he
was being held by the Taliban and condemned the video as a violation of international law.
"Thank you, and please continue to keep Bowe
in your thoughts and prayers."
On the video, which was posted on a Web site pointed out by the Taliban, Bergdahl
from Hailey, Idaho, a town of about 7,000 people that lies 160 miles east of Boise.
The Pentagon identified his
hometown as Ketchum, which is about half the size of Hailey and about 12 miles north.
His family says he grew up in Blaine County, closer to Hailey.
entered the Army in June 2008 and went through basic training in Fort Benning, Ga., said Lt.
Col. Jonathan Allen, spokesman for Fort Richardson
also took advanced individual and parachute training in Georgia.
reported for duty in Alaska in October, and deployed to Afghanistan in February.
Before enlisting, Bergdahl
worked as a barista at a coffee shop in Hailey, Zaney's River Street Coffee House, where a sign on the counter encouraged patrons to keep Bergdahl
in their thoughts and prayers.
"Join all of us at Zaney's holding light for our friend Bowe Bergdahl.
has been captured in Afghanistan," the handwritten sign said.
A similar message posted July 8 on the coffee shop's Facebook page suggests many in the small town have known for some time that Bergdahl
was in danger.
Friends and former co-workers at the coffee shop declined to speak on the record Sunday to an AP reporter, saying they were abiding by the Bergdahl family's wishes for privacy.
One of the directors of the Sun Valley Ballet School
in Ketchum said Bergdahl
performed with the group for four or five years up to about 2008.
In the video, Bergdahl
head shaved and was seen with the start of a beard.
was sitting and dressed in a nondescript, gray outfit.
Early in the video one captor held the soldier's dog tag up to the camera.
name and ID number were clearly visible.
was shown eating at one point and sitting cross-legged.
said the date was July 14 and that he
was captured when he
lagged behind on a patrol.
It's clear the video was made no earlier than July 14 because Bergdahl
repeated an exaggerated Taliban claim about a Ukrainian helicopter that was shot down that day.
was interviewed in English by his
was asked his
views on the war, which he
called extremely hard; his
desire to learn more about Islam; and the morale of American soldiers, which he
said was low.
Asked how he
was doing, the soldier said: "Well I'm scared, scared I won't be able to go home.
It is very unnerving to be a prisoner."
later choked up when discussing his
family and his
hope to marry his
"I have a very, very good family that I love back home in America.
And I miss them every day when I'm gone," he
was prompted by his
interrogators to give a message to the American people.
"To my fellow Americans who have loved ones over here, who know what it's like to miss them, you have the power to make our government bring them home," he
"Please, please bring us home so that we can be back where we belong and not over here, wasting our time and our lives and our precious life that we could be using back in our own country."
Bergdahl is a member of 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade
In the video, Bergdahl
was lagging behind a patrol when he