For the first time since her release two weeks ago, the American former Taliban hostage Ms Caitlan Coleman has spoken about her ordeal in Afghanistan over the course of five years.
She explained in emailed comments to her hometown’s newspaper, the York Daily Record, that is was above all the thoughts of her US home town that kept her hope alive during those five years.
Ms Coleman, who hails from Stewartstown, Pennsylvania, said: “So much of my childhood and even 20s were spent in York county, it has shaped me, and my fond memories helped to brighten some of the dark days. Good friends and great times are not forgotten, even now."
Amongst those fond memories, she recalls begging her father to take her to the local firemen's carnivals, eating ice cream while walking home and going hiking in southern York County's Nixon County Park.
Her husband, Canadian Joshua Boyle, who started the email exchange with the York Daily Record, has been public about what happened to them during their captivity, explaining that his wife was repeatedly raped, and that their Taliban captors killed an infant daughter of theirs.
Ms Coleman however told the paper she wasn’t ready yet to detail the horrors.
“Everybody says ‘No, you have to come out and talk about it’, but no, no I don’t and everybody nice has said it’s my choice and I can talk when I want, and to whom I want.”
The newspaper also enquired about the future plans for Ms Coleman, to which she replied: “Right now it’s too soon to know what long-term plans will be. But if we do find ourselves in York, I can't wait to share with my children some of the beautiful experiences I had there.”
Readers meanwhile have reacted with surprise that the Boyle-Coleman family continued to have children whilst in captivity, as well as being surprised that Ms Coleman went hiking in Afghanistan while pregnant with their first child, now 4 years old. The couple went on to have two other children, ages 2 and "somewhere around 6 months," Mr Boyle said.
As already mentioned, Mr Boyle also stated his wife had given birth to a baby girl, but that she was killed by their captors shortly after her birth.
The Taliban press agency has responded to these claims in a statement saying that his is untrue, that it was a miscarriage.