In a recent interview with PEOPLE, Paul Whelan's twin brother David had a message for the White House.
He admitted it was difficult to see both U.S. Marine Trevor Reed and WNBA star Brittney Griner returned home from Russia before Paul. As the years have gone on, David admitted it's difficult to "keep up your optimism" that Paul will ever come home.
"We saw Trevor Reed come home, and Paul didn't come home. We saw Brittney Griner come home, and Paul didn't come home. You start to wonder, 'How many more shots is the U.S. government going to be able to take, and when will the Russian government, if ever, decide that they have been given what they want in order to release Paul?'" David Whelan said. "It's hard to keep up your optimism, your hope for year after year, after year."
The sporting world took to social media to react to the latest news.
"We should of gotten them both. Period," one person said.
"They should had him home first," added another.
I hate to say this, and I don’t think it matters. But I believe it’s because he received a Bad Conduct Discharge from USMC. But they won’t come out and say it. He’s still a Combat Veteran and he should be brought home," a third noted.
Hopefully Whelan's family can welcome him home in the near future.