WKYT | Lexington, Kentucky | News

Prisoner release thrills POW/MIA advocates

OWINGSVILLE, Ky. (WKYT) - More than 100 bikers were already planning to come out to the Blessing of the Bikes at Owingsville First Church of God, but yesterday's news that prisoner of war Bowe Bergdahl was being released gave the bikers a whole new reason to ride.

"You can't explain it. Like the dog sticking its head out the window and the wind blowing. You can't explain it, but you know it's got to feel good!" said Danny "Greasy" Belcher. Belcher has been working to raise awareness about Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl since Bergdahl was captured by the Taliban in 2009.

"We are the only hope right now for Bowe Bergdahl," Belcher told a crowd that had gathered at the Kentucky Vietnam Veterans Memorial in June 2011.

Yesterday came news that Bergdahl had been released and will come home. Belcher got word from a friend. It didn't take long for everyone to hear.

"The phone was continuous yesterday. 'Is it true? Is it true? Is it true?'," Belcher said.

Of course, celebration followed soon after.

"Some friends had called and said we're going to meet at a bar in Mount Sterling. We're going to have a drink for Bowe Bergdahl. I had a Jim Beam and the bar gave me the glass as I left!" Belcher said with a laugh.

Some have criticized the way this happened. The United States will free five detainees from Guantanamo Bay in exchange for Bergdahl, but Belcher says he's not worried about the politics of this homecoming.

"There'll be conspiracy theorists, everybody patting themselves on the back, others complaining, but the main thing is, we got a live American home and that's all that matters, nothing else," Belcher said.

Belcher says he cares about one thing - honoring POWs and MIAs, especially when he thinks of a mother and father in Idaho who've waited years to see their son.

"The main thing is, there's a couple in Hailey, Idaho.......yeah...that's it..," Belcher said, trailing off as he became emotional.

Supporters had already planned a rally in support of Bowe Bergdahl at the Kentucky Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Frankfort on June 29. They say that rally will now be a welcome home party.


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