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Trevor Reed, the former Marine released in a prisoner exchange Wednesday after nearly three years in a Russian jail, has arrived back in the United States.
NBC News confirmed that Reed landed at Kelly Field airport in San Antonio at 12:33 a.m. CT Thursday.
It brings an end to Reed’s anguished ordeal in which he spent 985 days in Russian detention, according to family spokesperson Jonathan Franks.
The 30-year-old from Texas was released in the prisoner exchange with Russia that saw President Joe Biden commute the sentence of Konstantin Yaroshenko, a convicted Russian drug trafficker serving time in Connecticut.
Rep. August Pfluger, R-Texas, shared photos side by side with Reed after he touched down in the U.S. He had lobbied for his constituent’s release for more than a year, celebrating Reed’s return Thursday in a tweet.
“This is the moment we have all been praying for,” he wrote.
The prisoner exchange took place in Turkey, Reed’s parents, Joey and Paula Reed, told reporters Wednesday. They said they received a call from the plane as their son was flying out of Turkey around 4 a.m Wednesday.
Roger Carstens, the special presidential envoy for hostage affairs, was on the line and said, “Hey Joey, I’ve got somebody here that I think that y’all might want to talk to,” Reed’s father recalled.
Now that Reed is back home, focusing on his health will be the priority. His father said he will need to be extensively evaluated and tested, and that tuberculosis is a particular concern.
Reed’s mother tweeted early Thursday, “we are grateful beyond words!”
Earlier Thursday, Paula Reed said she hopes the U.S. will work to bring other Americans detained abroad back home.
“ALL these families should feel this joy & the relief of knowing their loved ones are safe again!” she added in a separate tweet.
Reed was arrested in the summer of 2019 by Russian authorities, accused of assaulting a police officer after a night of heavy drinking. He was sentenced to nine years in prison in 2020, but he and his family have maintained his innocence throughout the ordeal.
Reed was one of several Americans held in Russia. Other high-profile detainees include Michigan corporate security executive Paul Whelan, who is held on espionage-related charges his family denies, and WNBA star Brittney Griner, who was arrested in February after authorities found she had a cannabis derivative in her luggage.
Source: This post first appeared on NBC News