It’s official. Brittney Griner is back in the United States after a successful negotiation and exchange with the Russian government for arms dealer Viktor Bout.
According to CBS News, Griner arrived at Kelly Field located in San Antonio, Texas early Friday morning.
Even with the news of her release being imminent, actually getting her home safe and sound was still another matter entirely and thankfully went on without a hitch.
Hours before Brittney Griner’s arrival, President Joe Biden spoke out on her status and her route back home.
“She’s safe. She’s on a plane. She’s on her way home,” said Biden on Brittney Griner.
“After months of being unjustly detained in Russia, held under intolerable circumstances, Brittney will soon be back in the arms of her loved ones and she should have been there all along,” Biden continued. “This is a day we’ve worked toward for a long time. We never stopped pushing for her release.”
President Biden also clarified that the government has not forgotten about U.S. Marine Paul Whalen who had been imprisoned in Russia for almost four years over charges of espionage.
It was reportedly determined that Whalen’s return as part of the deal was a non-starter for the Russian government and that it was a choice between Griner’s freedom or nobody at all.
We’ve heard several voices speak out in celebration of Brittney Griner’s release nearly a year since she was initially detained. At the end of the day, getting her back to her family for the Holidays is all that matters.