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Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the only known US military member to be held prisoner in Afghanistan, was released May 31 after nearly five years in captivity, President Barack Obama announced the same day. The US agreed to transfer five detainees from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to Qatar, whose leaders helped broker the deal with the Taliban, in exchange for Bergdahl’s release, said Obama. “The Qatari government has given us assurances that it will put in place measures to protect our national security,” said Obama. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said intelligence reports indicated Bergdahl’s health was deteriorating. “It was our judgment that if we could find an opening and move very quickly … that we needed to get him out of there, essentially to save his life,” said Hagel, who said Bergdahl was safely in US military custody and was being taken to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany where doctors will evaluate his health before transferring him back to the US, according to a June 1 Pentagon release. “We look forward to continuing the recovery of our son, which is going to be a considerable task for our family,” said Bergdahl’s father Bob, during the May 31 briefing at the White House. Bergdahl, then a private first class, went missing on June 30, 2009, from his post in Afghanistan. (Hagel statem​ent.)