COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A Colorado Springs doctor who was kidnapped by the Taliban works with one of several southern Colorado charities that take big risks for humanitarian work overseas.
Dr. Dilip Joseph is expected to be reunited with his family at some point this week after being held hostage by the Taliban for several days. Joseph was rescued by the Navy's prestigious SEAL Team Six on Saturday. On Monday, the Department of Defense announced that Petty Officer 1st Class Nicolas D. Checque, 28, of Monroeville, Pa died during the mission.
Dilip works for the Colorado Springs-based charity Morning Star Development. According to the group's website, it's devoted to helping people in Afghanistan; empowering women and providing people with leadership training and medical help.
Morning Star has said that, despite the kidnapping of Joseph and two Afghan employees (who also escaped unharmed), it plans to stay committed to its work in the war-torn country.
Compassion International is another Colorado Springs charity that does missionary work in countries that can be dangerous. The group focuses on giving a better life to impoverished children around the globe.
"It's the call of the mission," said Mark Hanlon, Compassion International's senior vice-president. "It's the passion for the mission and making sure we work to accomplish that mission. Sometimes that causes us to put ourselves at risk."
Hanlon said he too has risked his safety in places like Colombia, Indonesia and Africa.
"There have been a few times where our cars or our buses have been stopped or pulled over, and we've been asked at gunpoint to present our papers, sometimes to get out of the bus," recalled Hanlon.
He said Compassion International employees have also been hurt, kidnapped and even killed.
Hanlon said what happened to Dr. Joseph hit close to home.
"It was saddening," Hanlon said. "It's the kind of thing where I thought, 'Wow, that could have easily been me. I could have been in that situation."
Joseph's family and his co-workers from Morning Star have not done any interviews yet. The family did release a statement expressing gratitude to Joseph's rescuers, and condolences to the family of the young hero who lost his life.