Springs doctor rescued in Afghanistan is back in US

Staff reports Updated: December 23, 2012 at 12:00 am • Published: December 23, 2012

A Colorado Springs doctor freed from the Taliban by U.S. Special Forces in Afghanistan on Dec. 8 has returned home and reunited with his family, according to a statement made Friday by his employer.

“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,” Dr. Dilip Joseph said in the statement released by Colorado Springs-based charity Morning Star Development.

He also asked for privacy as he and his family “reintegrate into normal lives.”

Joseph, a medical adviser, and two additional Morning Star workers were returning from a Dec. 5 visit to a medical clinic in eastern Afghanistan when armed men kidnapped them.

The other two workers were released after negotiations, but the captors held Joseph, demanding a reported $100,000 ransom.

Navy SEALs rescued Joseph after an intelligence report revealed a threat to his life.

Joseph was not injured, according to a statement released by Morning Star.

Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Nicolas D. Checque, a member of Navy SEAL Team Six, died in the Dec. 8 raid to rescue Joseph.

Lars Peterson, executive director of Morning Star, attended Checque’s funeral earlier this week, according to the statement.

Last week Peterson said the organization was attempting to determine how to properly honor Checque’s legacy.

“We want to honor the family as we go forward,” he said.

Checque was to be buried Friday at Arlington National Cemetery, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

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