With the historic summit between President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin underway this morning in Geneva, one family is holding out hope that the meeting will lead to the release of their son— a former U.S. Marine who’s spent the last couple of years in a Russian jail.
“Let’s just put it this way, it’s the most hopeful we’ve been in almost two years,” says Joey Reed, the veteran’s father.
Trevor Reed, 29, was born in Fort Worth and was a student at the University of North Texas at the time of his arrest. He is currently two years into a nine-year sentence in a Russian prison, accused of getting into a drunken altercation with two Russian police officers in 2019.
But U.S. officials say the charges are preposterous. U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan even issued a statement when Reed was first sentenced, saying the case and the evidence were “so preposterous that they provoked laughter in the courtroom.”
Reed’s parents say they believe their son is being used as a political pawn, targeted by the Russian government for the five years he spent serving as a Marine and as a presidential guard at Camp David. They’ve been fighting for two years to bring him home, and they say they hope the talks between President Biden and Putin will lead to his release.
“For me, it would just be that they are making a plan to free him soon,” says Trevor’s mom, Paula Reed. “It’s not going to happen overnight, he’s not going to fly home with the president. But, at least there are … talks that they agree he will be coming home soon.”
Until he is free, Reed’s family is sending out a plea to every American:
“Contact all your federal representatives,” Joey Reed says. “And say, “What are you doing to help this veteran get home who’s done nothing but having been a veteran visiting Russia?”