Bowe Bergdahl, the American Army Sergeant who went missing in 2009, has been released from captivity in Afghanistan and is recovering. Government officials say their first priority is to ensure he is in good health and is allowed to reconnect with his family. However, the circumstances surrounding his disappearance are hazy; some say he deserted his post, while others say he was forcefully taken from a latrine. Now, those who worked closely with Bergdahl say they're angry that he may not face legal action even though several people were killed during the search for him.
"I was pissed off then and I am even more so now with everything going on. Bowe Bergdahl deserted during a time of war and his fellow Americans lost their lives searching for him," said former Sgt. Matt Vierkant, who was a member of Bergdahl's platoon.
According to reports from others in the platoon, Bergdahl walked off his post without his weapon, armed only with a diary, a camera, a compass, a knife, and some water. Some claim that he had become disillusioned with the Army, and emails to his family before his disappearance seem to corroborate that.
“The US army is the biggest joke the world has to laugh at. It is the army of liars, backstabbers, fools, and bullies. The few good SGTs are getting out as soon as they can, and they are telling us privates to do the same....I am sorry for everything here. These people need help, yet what they get is the most conceited country in the world telling them that they are nothing and that they are stupid, that they have no idea how to live."
According to a report by Rolling Stone Magazine in 2012, Bergdahl alluded to the fact that he wanted to leave just before he disappeared.
“In the early-morning hours of June 30th, according to soldiers in the unit, Bowe approached his team leader not long after he got off guard duty and asked his superior a simple question: If I were to leave the base, would it cause problems if I took my sensitive equipment?
“Yes, his team leader responded – if you took your rifle and night-vision goggles, that would cause problems.
“Bowe returned to his barracks, a roughly built bunker of plywood and sandbags. He gathered up water, a knife, his digital camera and his diary. Then he slipped off the outpost.”
No charges have been brought against Bergdahl, but he will soon face debriefings and a line of questioning regarding the people who held him captive and exactly how he was taken. If he is found guilty of going AWOL, he faces charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
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