Daniel Batchelder, president of Morning Star, told me then the area was "on the knife edge" of insurgency and "more familiar to the Taliban" than to Afghanistan's government.
When news of the kidnappings came, Batchelder
knew U.S. military personnel could be taking steps to secure the release of the three, but he
counted on the local elders-and they came through: "We did not know the levels the local people would go to to protect us or advocate for us.
told me the ordeal has strengthened rather than weakened his
organization's resolve to continue working in a war zone.
"Everyone who goes there understands the danger, but we hope and pray to avoid anything like this happening.
said the group also is very aware that freedom for the aid workers came at the cost of another American: "We grieve the loss of the young hero who gave his
said, Morning Star
is receiving donations for work in Afghanistan designated in the memory of Checque.