Joshua Boyle and his wife Caitlan Coleman were backpacking in Afghanistan in 2012 when the Taliban-linked Haqqani network kidnapped them.
Patrick and Linda Boyle, Joshua’s parents, join Here & Now‘s Robin Young to discuss why they are choosing to speak out, four days after the release of a video showing their son and Coleman in captivity with their two young sons.
On why the story hasn’t gained more attention
Linda: “I think it makes people uncomfortable, and some people just don’t like to be uncomfortable, and it’s easy enough to turn away if you’re not living it. So that’s part of it. I think for a lot of people, I just call it an arrogant, judgmental attitude, that, ‘I would never do that, so therefore it must be wrong.’ But where would the world be at this time if nobody ever went beyond their own personal space?”
On criticism of the couple for backpacking in Afghanistan
Patrick: “Stop and think, people swim beyond their abilities, and we go out and save them, and people take steps… skiers ski out of bounds. When something goes wrong, adventurous people get rescued. They weren’t stupid, and they didn’t deserve this, nobody does. They were adventuresome, but they were responsible. They went there legally, they contacted tourist operators and accommodations beforehand, they communicated regularly with family and friends, and they had return tickets for early December, a couple of months before [Caitlan’s] due date.”
On how they are dealing with the situation
Linda: “You don’t really have a choice. Life goes on, and you make the best of it, that’s what we’re handed in life. We all have to deal with what we’re handed with, and that’s what we were handed with, so we deal with it best we can.”
Patrick: “It’s really a two-step program: get up in the morning, pray that we get them back today, or that today passes quickly, and we do well.”
On what they want to say
Linda: “I’m not sure where it’s going to reach, but certainly if Josh knows and Caity and the kids hear it, I obviously want to tell them how much we love them, we miss them, so proud of them both, Josh and Cait, knowing that they’re taking care of their family as best they can, keep up the hope. It’s the first prayer and the last prayer of every day, is to give them strength, and that we’re doing all we can, but it’s really in the hands of the captors and the governments, they don’t want to talk to us.”
Patrick: “If the captors are listening, we want to assure them that the families have taken the messages seriously, and have pursued it most diligently with governments. Message received, loud and clear, and being acted upon. If it’s Josh and Cait, I echo Linda’s love to all four of them, and pride in seeing Josh and Caity get their kids through this this far, so well, elated to see they’re looking healthy after all of this time, in the circumstances, and I think it being Christmas, I just say to Josh that I can picture him reading Forsyth’s ‘Shepherd’ story to the boys from memory at this point.”