To The Daily Sun,
Over the past week we have seen and read about the situation and issue of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. This American soldier was captured in Afghanistan in 2009 after leaving his post, according to him and Army documents,”to walk about 17 miles and reach a headquarters company and report the lax atmosphere of his company before others were killed”.
He was captured and held captive by the Taliban-aligned Haqqiani Network until May 2014.
As we all are aware, he was traded for five Taliban by the Obama administration and I for one believe it was the Commander in Chief's job to bring this soldier home and I know that’s what thousands around the country were demanding. The outcry was first that Congress wasn’t notified and second these were the five worst. If it was your son, any five would have been worth it and, most important, Gitmo is just about empty today so what difference would it have made? All understand it was more political than anything. Sen. McCain said ,” We don’t negotiate “.. we say that but if not, then HE wouldn’t be with us today (thank you Kissinger, you just failed to bring all home.)
The Army psych exam showed this soldier was quite ill. And, although wrong in leaving his post, he believed he was doing the right thing.
I hear, but his own team calls him a traitor! Interesting, because at first most of his members stated he was one of the "best," most squared away, to the point of referring to him as "SF" (Special Forces.). Yes, they also stated he was odd because he didn’t hang out with then often, He read a great deal about Afghanistan, the people and traditions, didn’t drink .. yup, would have sounded strange if was in Vietnam in the past as well.
After all of this happened his teammates (squad) stated”by leaving his post he didn’t have their backs.” My question is, if all knew he was having problems, who had his back? I ask Vietnam veterans out there if it had been back in the day and a guy like this was with you, how long would he have been in the field? The medic called him a traitor, as a past corpsman, I call that medic a loser for not protecting his men or this soldier by keeping him in the field and maybe most important, not protecting himself!
Much has been said and written, including our president today, who I voted for, calling this soldier a traitor and referring to the fact he should be shot. First, Mr. President, you like others didn’t serve in uniform in harms way so please ... stop!
It is said true men were severely hurt looking for this soldier — that is true. As could happen looking for any MIA, possible POW (terms the DOD have done away with to hide POW’s”)
This is a tough issue and very emotional.If we go back to the “Bobby Garwood” case (Vietnam POW held 14 years and at first said to be deserter and traitor) his crime was “he survived. “ it took time for that to be found out but the damage had been done.
Will Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl be the main story also? One out of the 17-year war in Afghanistan? A 23-year-old soldier who bombed out of the Coast Guard because “couldn’t adjust to military life” and the Army picked him up years later because standards changed? Army has NO responsibility here. Even though the command, Bergdahl states, actually did have proven problems in command?
This soldier, who was ill, walked away from his post to report weakness in command, was captured and tortured for five years. He escaped three times and was recaptured. And, finally, he was placed in cage in a hole. He could be guilty of "survival" only but will be again caged by the country he loved and served because of politics? Those who have loved ones serving, how do you wish your son or daughter treated when proved to be ill?
How will this end? We do not know as yet, but the groundwork has been laid by the media with "false" information. When the POTUS calls this soldier a traitor and the chair of Veterans Committee states ”If anything other than guilty" there will be investigation.” Thank you Sen. McCain, no questions there!
I believe and pray the right course of action is taken on this soldier's behalf.