In 2012, an American woman, Caitlan Coleman, and her Canadian husband, Joshua Boyle, were kidnapped by the Taliban. During their travels, the couple went hiking in Afghanistan. While on their hike, they were abducted.
A few weeks ago, five years after they were taken, the couple was freed. The family was freed in an exchange between the Pakistani military and U.S. commandos in a secret operation. Many have attributed the success of the operation to President Trump's strong stance on the Pakistani military.
Caitlan was pregnant when they were kidnapped, and the couple decided to have more children while in captivity. Last week, Joshua Boyle spoke out about their years in captivity.
He said that he and Caitlan decided to have children while imprisoned because they had always had a dream of a large family. He said that they had hope that they would eventually be released. He also said that they had a fourth child, but that their captors had killed the child in a forced abortion and then later raped Caitlan. The Taliban has since denied those accusations.
Now, for the first time since their release, Caitlan Coleman has broken her silence. She issued her first public statement to the York Daily Record.
While Coleman had not wanted to talk directly about her time in captivity, she said that it was her fond memories of her childhood and teenage years in York County, Pennsylvania that kept her strong throughout her "dark days."
She said, "So much of my childhood and even 20s were spent in York County; it has shaped me, and my fond memories helped to brighten some of the dark days."
Coleman said that she does not want to feel forced to talk about anything that she wants to keep private. She chose to reach out to the specific publication because she wanted to focus on fond memories from the past.
She said, "Everybody says ‘No, you have to come out and talk about it’, but no, no I don’t and everybody nice has said it’s my choice and I can talk when I want, and to whom I want."
Caitlan and her father both relayed fond memories of her childhood. She said that some of her favorite memories were going sledding in the winters and going to local carnivals. She said that if she returns to York County with her family in the future, she hopes to share "some of the beautiful experiences" that she had with her three children.
Coleman had been homeschooled as a child, and she said that while in captivity she and Joshua were still able to teach their children. They were able to teach them facts about over 100 countries in the world and basic math skills, and Coleman said she looks forward to their educational growth now that they are at their Canadian home.
Please continue praying for this family as they are going through this unimaginable transition time. In breaking news, a musician and lead guitarist was found dead at 49 from cancer.