A giddy atmosphere swept Hailey Saturday as the people who have clamored for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's return since 2009 celebrated the news that the Idaho soldier had been released.
Bergdahl, the only American taken prisoner in Afghanistan, was released after negotiations with the Taliban. US officials traded five Guantanamo Bay detainees for the Idaho soldier.
A small crowd gathered at McClain's Pizza to watch President Barack Obama speak alongside Bergdahl's parents, Bob and Jani Bergdahl.
Outside the restaurant, yellow posters proclaiming Bowe is free at last! were plastered on almost every surface and yellow ribbons wrapped every tree and telephone pole.
Charlie Weisbaum was one of the residents who turned out to McClain's to watch the president's speech.
The Vietnam War veteran said he was overjoyed to hear of Bergdahl's release. The soldier's capture was felt by everyone in the community, he said.
Being a veteran, I don t want to see none of that happen to anybody, Weisbaum said. It's very emotional.
He credits Bergdahl's parents for their determination in getting their son back. After the soldier was taken prisoner, Bob Bergdahl quit his job at UPS to focus full-time on freeing his son.
That focus paid off. Saturday, Weisbaum sat at the bar as he watched as Bob Bergdahl stand beside the president and thank everyone who aided the soldier's release.
It was just absolutely off the charts, Weisbaum said. We grew beards together. We're friends, we have been for a long time.
A rally planed for June 28 - Bring Bowe Back - is still going forward, but with a more joyous message this year.Wisebaum hopes Bergdahl be home in Hailey in time for the party.
We got him out, and I'm just so happy, he said.