The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Breaking News

Local News

April 8, 2013

Taking up cause of POW

Local woman does not know soldier

JEFFERSON TOWNSHIP — Frances Foster-Austin said she won’t rest until Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is freed from his captors.

The Jefferson Township woman describes herself as a “staunch supporter” of the military and she’s been inspired to take up Bergdahl’s cause because few folks have, she said.

“You would think something as important as a POW (prisoner of war), that they would all be educated in that area,” Foster-Austin said.

But after contacting several members of Congress, she found out that some elected officials don’t know about Bergdahl, who has been held captive since June 30, 2009.

The circumstances behind Bergdahl’s capture by the Taliban are vague. He has appeared in several YouTube videos and has been used as a pawn in negotiations for the release of Afghan prisoners being held by the U.S.

March 28 was his 27th birthday. He’s a native of Sun Valley, Idaho, and joined the Army in search of adventure, according to a 2012 article in Rolling Stone magazine.

That story goes on to detail how Bergdahl’s disenchantment with the military and the American cause in Afghanistan waned as time passed during his tour of duty.

Foster-Austin doesn’t mention any of that in her letters seeking support for the soldier, but said the country needs to do whatever it takes to obtain his release.

“Every member of Congress that doesn’t know the Bowe Bergdahl story should be ashamed of themselves,” she said, adding that American officials need to “do whatever it is they need to do” to necessitate his freedom.

“What happened to ‘leave no man behind?,’ ” she asked, adding that she fears the worst for Bergdahl, with the U.S. troop withdrawal set for August 2014.

“We were able to get bin Laden, why couldn’t we do the same with Bergdahl?” she said.

“I can’t imagine the heartache his family’s been going through,” she said.

Foster-Austin’s made yellow bracelets and stickers to call attention to Bergdahl’s cause and distributes them to anyone who’ll accept them.

She’s also started a Facebook group, “Businesses for Bowe,” and is seeking supporters to email her at

Text Only
Local News
  • Doss: Public has right to know

    A major part of Farrell council’s work session Monday was spent deciding whether or not to inform the audience about an unofficial police proposal from the City of Sharon.

    July 30, 2014

  • Budget falling short despite tax hike

    Farrell residents may have seen an income tax increase this year, but the city isn’t seeing the extra dollars City Manager Michael Ceci budgeted for.

    July 30, 2014

  • oakwood graves 1 Resting together

    Visitors to Oakwood Cemetery would see many  familiar local names if they looked down the hillside to the left just inside the gate on Sharon’s North Oakland Avenue.

    July 30, 2014 3 Photos

  • Police: Kids in car were OK

    The mother of two young children was drunk and passed out when police found them all in a car parked along a city street, Sharon police said.

    July 29, 2014

  • To talk – or not – about police

    The mysterious agenda item, “No. 10,” at Farrell’s council meeting Monday became the center of a heated workshop and business session.

    July 29, 2014

  • Community thanks its first-responders

    Sharpsville honored its emergency responders Sunday at an event that included Mertz Towers residents as special guests.

    July 28, 2014

  • Drilling boom challenges state inspectors

    The state’s 83 well inspectors face a daunting enough challenge keeping tabs on 120,000 active oil and gas wells that have been drilled over the last century.

    July 28, 2014

  • Kidds Mill Covered Bridge A span of time

    Four generations of the Cadman family have enjoyed the Kidds Mill Covered Bridge, which is in Pymatuning Township near where the family’s ancestral farm is located.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • Intruder hurts woman, takes $5

    A home invasion in Hermitage Friday night sent an elderly woman to the hospital and netted the robber $5.

    July 27, 2014

  • national night out March against crime set for Aug. 5

    At the last Southwest Mercer County Regional Police Commission meeting, Chief Riley Smoot Jr. presented the number of incidents for each of the four communities in May.

    Farrell topped out at 819.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • high street trail Peaceful pathways

    History buffs and picnickers in the Shenango Valley won’t have to drive to Sharpsville to hang out at the old Erie Canal extension lock. They’ll soon have the option to walk or roll in on bicycles and even powered chairs to visit Canal Park near the outflow of Shenango Dam.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • balloonquest1 Balloon Quest celebrates 25 years

    Today is the final day of the 25th annual Western Pennsylvania Balloon Quest at Scotland Meadows Park.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • News briefs from July 26, 2014

    Man faces bomb threat charges

    June building tops $4 million in Hermitage

    July 26, 2014

  • Elderly man survives plane crash

    An elderly man survived wrecking his plane into a bank, then landing into a wetland, about 200 feet south of Runway 28 at Grove City Regional Airport in Springfield Township on Friday.

    July 26, 2014

  • Dontae Rashad Pinkins Man arrested for April gunfight

    Federal marshals and local police arrested Dontae Rashad Pinkins Thursday on a warrant accusing him of involvement in an April gunfight with another man in a Sharon alley.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo