Bergdahl’s hometown cancels ‘Welcome Home’ ceremony

HAILEY, Idaho – This small, central Idaho city of about 8,000 is wilting in the international spotlight brought by what was supposed to be a joyous occasion, and a much-anticipated celebration welcoming back a long-lost son has been canceled.

For years, the town has rallied, hoped and prayed for the return of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the polite and sensitive boy who was home-schooled by his parents, attended Sovereign Redeemer Presbyterian Church, took ballet lessons in nearby Ketchum and worked as a barista at Zaney’s coffee shop on River Street before enlisting in the Army in 2008. Captured by the Taliban a year into his tour, Bergdahl was held for five years until Saturday’s dramatic announcement that he’d been swapped for five of Guantanamo Bay’s most dangerous prisoners.

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