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WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama is welcoming the release of the lone U.S. soldier held in Afghanistan, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

During an appearance Saturday in the Rose Garden, Obama says that while Bergdahl was gone, "he was never forgotten." The president was joined at the White House by the soldier's parents, Bob and Jani Bergdahl.

Bergdahl was turned over by the Taliban earlier Saturday in exchange for the release of five Afghan detainees who were held at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Obama says the U.S., quote, "does not ever leave our men and women in uniform behind."

Bergdahl's father thanked all those who took part in his son's recovery, saying it was difficult to put his feelings into words.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Obama welcomes release of captured US soldier Obama welcomes release of captured US soldier Obama welcomes release of captured US soldier
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