BOISE – There's a new show of support in the Treasure Valley for captured Idaho soldier Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, currently being held as a prisoner of war in the Middle East.
Over the last few months billboards have been popping up all across the nation. Now they’re here in Idaho.
Lamar advertising donated 13 digital billboards throughout Idaho, 12 of them are in the Treasure Valley. Each one has Bergdahl’s picture and a message to bring him home.
The billboards are the direct result of one local member of the Lion's Club who wanted to raise more awareness of Bergdahl’s situation.
"I was surprised that all over the United States these billboards were going up, but only three hours away live Bowe Bergdahl's parents and we don't have anything here," said Gary D'Orazio.
D’Orazio decided to approach Lamar, a company that has billboards all over the state. His plan was to get a quote then find a way to raise the money to get Sgt. Bergdahl on Idaho billboards.
"And he said it's only $28,000, and I kind of sank back into my chair, but he said, 'We're donating it all,'" said D'Orazio.
That's right, nearly $30,000 worth of advertising, completely for free.
"We love to be involved in the community and we love to give back and this was an easy way recognize a special person that's serving our country," said Scott Butterfield, Lamar Regional Manager and VP.
It didn't take long for Lamar to put together an ad and get them on digital billboards across the state.
"My goal is to create a greater awareness and also to support his family, all of his friends, let them know that we're with him," said D’Orazio.
D'Orazio says in his conversations, many people still don't know who Bowe Bergdahl is, and without knowing that, he believes it will be more difficult to bring Bowe home.
"We need everybody's support. This is not just me, not just you, this is everybody needs to get behind this and make something happen. We need our voices heard," said D’Orazio.
Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's picture will be on the billboards for another week to three weeks depending on the location. They will act as a reminder to people that he still needs our help, and hopefully raise more awareness of his POW status.
In addition to the billboards, there's a petition on the White House's web page urging the president to do whatever it takes to bring Sgt. Bergdahl home.
The petition has over 7,000 signatures right now, but needs 100,000 signatures before the White House has to respond. Click here for a link to the petition.
KTVB also reached out to the Bergdahl’s for reaction to the billboards. Here is their response.
"We appreciate all the support and expressions of sympathy shown to us by our family members, our friends and others across the nation. Thank you, and please continue to keep Bowe in your thoughts and prayers.” - Bergdahl family statement.