COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - An Colorado Springs aid doctor who was abducted in Afghanistan is offering sympathy to the family of a Navy SEAL who died in the operation to rescue him.
Morning Star Development, a Colorado Springs nonprofit where Dr. Dilip Joseph works, said Friday Joseph is back in the U.S. He was abducted on Dec. 5 and rescued Dec. 8.
Dr. Joseph and two colleagues were kidnapped by a group of armed men while returning from a visit to a rural medical clinic in eastern Kabul Province, according to Morning Star Development. The three were eventually taken to a mountainous area about 50 miles from the border with Pakistan.
Gen. John R. Allen, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, ordered the mission to rescue Joseph when “intelligence showed that Joseph was in imminent danger of injury or death”, according to a military press release.
The group posted a statement from Joseph on its website thanking the U.S. and Afghan forces who rescued him and praising Petty Officer 1st Class Nicolas D. Checque of Monroeville, Pa., who died in the rescue.
"I would like to take this moment to thank the U.S. and Afghan forces for putting their lives on the line to rescue me. I can appreciate the difficulty of this particular operation and deeply value the sacrifice of one of their own servicemen for the success of this mission.
My heart goes out to the family of the fallen hero for his service, commitment and courage. He will remain a legacy for me and my family for generations to come.
I have been traveling to Afghanistan for the past several years in the hope of making a difference for this country and her people. I still hold Afghanistan in great regard and will continue to pray and hope for its' peace and long-term stability.
My family and I would like to thank you for your thoughts and prayers during this difficult transition time. We ask that you would respect our privacy as we reintegrate into normal lives.
Thanks and blessings."
-Dr. Dilip Joseph
Morning Star Development says Joseph isn't giving interviews because of unspecified security issues.
Morning Star establishes medical clinics and community centers in Afghanistan. It also operates a leadership training program and helps Afghans start businesses.