Seattle man's nephew one of Americans freed by Iran

Sep 21, 2011

A Seattle man has a special reason to celebrate the release of two American hikers from an Iranian prison. One of those who was freed, Josh Fattal, is his nephew.

Fred Felleman is an environmental consultant in Seattle. On Wednesday, he was beaming as he watched a cable news channel. On the screen was video of Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal arriving on the tarmac in the Gulf state of Oman.

“I saw them running  down the stairs for the first time and it was like, oh my God, that was the first time it was really real to me,” he said.

Felleman says he can't wait to get together with his sister and his nephew Josh and stands ready to jump on a plane at any moment to meet them when they are back in the U.S.

"I  stand ready to join in the group grope," Felleman laughs.

Felleman says the last few years have been emotionally wrenching for his sister’s family. They’ve spent much of the time in Washington, D.C., meeting with embassies from all over the world trying to secure the release of the hikers.

Now that it’s over, Felleman says, everyone can finally breathe a sigh of relief.

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Previous KPLU story: Families Wait After Iran Frees One of Three Hikers