One week after a North Texas Marine veteran returned home from Russia, where he was wrongfully detained for the last three years, Trevor Reed’s family made good on a promise to help other families bring their loved ones home.
Wednesday morning, Reed’s father Joey and sister Taylor gathered outside of the White House with the families of a dozen other Americans who are currently held hostage or have been wrongfully detained outside of the United States.
“Enough about Trevor. Today is about everyone else,” said Joey Reed.
In a press conference, the families announced the launch of the Bring Our Families Home campaign, while urging President Joe Biden to meet with them to discuss engaging in prisoner swaps like the one that brought Reed home.
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“We always knew that if we met this president, he would do the right thing. We know that he wants to do the right thing for all these families,” said Reed.
Other families present included relatives of Alirio Zambrano, Jose Luis Zambrano, Jorge Toledo and Jose Angel Pereira, Tomen Vadell, Matthew Heath, Airan Berry and Luke Denman, who are all being held in Venezuela. Mark Frerichs, currently held in Afghanistan, and Emad Shargi, Siamak Namazi, Baquer Namazi, Morad Tabhazheld, all held in Iran, were also represented, along with Paul Whelan who remains in Russia.
“We recently celebrated the release of Trevor Reed, now reunited with his family. That’s fantastic news. Everyone is thrilled to hear this. But everyone else, every one of us is stuck waiting in the labyrinth still for that same moment for that one door to open and for our loved one to walk through,” said Whelan’s sister, Elizabeth Whelan.
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Adopting a catchphrase shared by Rep. August Pfluger in the aftermath of Reed’s release, the families called for the President to once again exercise “patriotism over politics” by participating in prisoner swaps with America’s adversaries if that’s what it takes to bring home the 55 Americans currently held abroad.
“We need our president to bring all of them home and not wait so long to do it,” said Joey Reed.
Though Brittney Griner’s family wasn’t part of today’s rally, Joey Reed did address her case, praising the government for recently declaring her wrongfully detained.
He said it took Reed nearly a year to get that distinction.
Bring our Families Home said they stand in solidarity with Griner’s wife.