(NewsNation) — After nearly 1,000 days in a Russian prison, Marine veteran Trevor Reed is back in the United States after he was swapped for a Russian drug trafficker in a prisoner exchange between the United States and Russia.
“It’s been very exciting day for the Reed family. Trevor is back in the USA,” Paula Reed said on Twitter. Photographs tweeted from the account of Rep. August Pfluger, a Texas Republican, also showed him standing next to Reed.
Pfluger greeted Reed on the tarmac with his family. It was the first time the Marine veteran touched U.S. soil in three years.
“It was an incredible honor to be with his family, to see the joy on their faces,” Pfluger said. “It was really just an incredible moment to understand how special this country is to Trevor Reed, a Marine, a patriot, somebody who needed to come home.”
Reed, a 30-year-old former Marine, was arrested in the summer of 2019 after Russian authorities said he assaulted an officer while being driven by police to a police station following a night of heavy drinking.
He was later sentenced to nine years in prison. The U.S. government described him as unjustly detained and pressed for his release; his family asserted his innocence and expressed concerns about his deteriorating health — which included coughing up blood and a hunger strike.
“You could just see the joy on his face to be in the same building in the same room as his parents and not behind bars. It was really an incredible moment,” Pfluger said.
Reed’s parents previously spoke with NewsNation saying their son had not received medical care. Reed is expected to be hospitalized following his return to the states. In the past three years, Reed’s parents say he has contracted COVID-19 and tuberculosis.