I have been following the Bowe Bergdahl issue for several years. I “Liked” a Facebook page dedicated to his return and followed a Twitter account called @WaitingForBowe to keep up with the latest information.
For those who don’t know about Bergdahl, he is a U.S. Army soldier who was captured by the enemy in Afghanistan back in June 2009. He was released on May 31, 2014.
I am happy and grateful for his release – one can only imagine what he went through and what his family went through these last five years. We should all be happy that he made it home. Military personnel should always be brought home – we should leave no one behind.
The circumstances surrounding his capture and his release deserve to be investigated.
In regard to his capture, I read several new reports in which fellow soldiers accused Bergdahl of deserting his unit by just walking away. Others reports have said that he was drunk and captured, or that he fell behind on a patrol and was captured, and another one I read said he was captured coming out of the latrine.
There are claims that up to six soldiers died while searching for Bergdahl, but according to a recent story from Fox News, the Pentagon has not confirmed this claim.
I was in the military and I can tell you there’s nothing like the rumors and stories that come from the “barrack lawyers.” All these accusations will be sorted out when Bergdahl is well enough. If Bergdahl is found to be a deserter, it will be dealt with for sure. One has to ask though: what punishment can Bergdahl receive that is more severe than spending five years as a prisoner under Taliban control? The United States Disciplinary Barracks in Leavenworth, Kansas, would be like a piece of cake.
The New York Times has a pretty good story about the Bergdahl issue titled, “Bowe Bergdahl’s Vanishing Before Capture Angered His Unit.” You can read it HERE.
As for the prisoner swap, that concerns me greatly. Of course, it’s a political issue because in Washington if you can score a few political points on an issue you go for it. We should all remember that most of the folks elected to represent us in Washington never served in the military and don’t understand the pressures of being in the military, let alone being in a hostile military situation.
The Obama Administration says they consulted Congress about this swap. I am concerned that next time the enemy may want 10 bad guys for our good guy, or 15 or 20.
When will it be too much?
Do our enemies now have a better reason to abduct Americans?
Overall, I think it sets a bad precedent.
At the end of the New York Times article Rear Adm. John F. Kirby, the Pentagon spokesman, probably summed up the Bergdahl situation best about the American military not leaving soldiers behind:
“When you’re in the Navy, and you go overboard, it doesn’t matter if you were pushed, fell or jumped,” he said. “We’re going to turn the ship around and pick you up.”
Welcome home Bowe.