People of Northwest Public Radio
Fri July 26, 2013
Supporters Of POW Turn Billboards Into Call To Action
Originally published on Fri July 26, 2013 4:59 pm
Supporters of a U.S. soldier being held by the Taliban are trying to keep his name front and center with the public.
Bowe Bergdahl of Hailey, Idaho, has been a prisoner of war for the last four years.
Keith Lasseigne motions to the roof of a building in downtown Spokane. “We have a Bring Bowe Home billboard above us.”
Where you might normally see an ad for fast food or beer, the billboard instead says, “No one left behind,” and “Call your Congressman.”
Lasseigne is a retired survival instructor with the Air Force. He helped put up this sign and two others in Spokane because he wants more people to know about Bowe Bergdahl.
“At least add some pressure to our politicians to say, 'Hey this is long enough and we want him back.' We want him a priority,” Lasseigne says.
Billboards have been popping up in other places too -- in Bergdahl’s home state of Idaho, near Tacoma, in Detroit, Chicago, and on the Vegas strip. They’re designed to highlight a side of the war in Afghanistan that’s not widely known among the public.
A prisoner swap for Bergdahl is expected to be on the table, if and when negotiations re-start with the Taliban.
Since Bergdahl’s capture in Afghanistan in 2009, the campaign to bring him home has largely taken shape through local efforts. But recently, Congressman Scott Peters of San Diego introduced a resolution in the U.S. House. Idaho’s Mike Simpson just signed on. The resolution calls for Bergdahl’s return -- though it doesn’t specify how.
On the Web:
Billboards 4 Bowe - official site
House Resolution 296 - US House of Representatives