Teen holds special connection with released soldier

Local teen wore Bergdahl's POW bracelet; plans to send half to soldier


MIDDLEBURG, Fla. – Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was released to American officials Saturday from Taliban captivity after five years.

His return is causing a lot of controversy nationwide, but one local teenager is just happy Bergdahl is alive.

Fifteen-year-old Cody Snelgrove got a prisoner of war bracelet when he was 10 and it happened to be Bergdahl's.

The Middleburg teen never once took it off until Saturday, when he learned of the safe release of an American soldier.

Snelgrove has family in the military, wants to one day be in the military and had always been extremely interested. That's why when he was 10 he asked his mom to request a POW bracelet.

Over the years he had been in touch with Sgt. Bergdahl's family. They even sent Snelgrove stickers while Bergdahl was being held in captivity. When he heard the news Saturday he said he was very emotional.
"I would just say good job for keeping in there and that I'm glad he is home," said Snelgrove.

Those are the words 15-year-old Cody Snelgrove would say to US Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl if he ever got the opportunity to meet him. After receiving a POW bracelet representing Bergdahl, he never once took it off, even sporting a tan line from the bracelet.

"It shows that you're remembering who they are and what their situation is and it shows that you're supporting them," said Snelgrove.

When Snelgrove got a text about the news of Bergdahl's release, he said he didn't believe it. But when he realized it was true he was full of emotions.

"I was in the office on the computer and someone texted me and said he had been let go and I didn't believe them at first, so I looked it up and I figured it out and ran outside and told my mom and was super happy," said Snelgrove.

He said he always wanted to go into the military, but this experience has solidified it.

"Mainly because I want to protect our nation and I want to serve our country and its really brought it home for me, I guess the bracelet has," said Snelgrove.

Snelgrove said he will soon break the bracelet in half, which symbolizes the chains of Bergdahl's captivity being broken. He then plans to send it to Bergdahl and hopes he one day gets the opportunity to meet him.