As freed Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl recovers in a hospital in Germany after being held by the Taliban for nearly five years following a prisoner swap, some of his fellow soldiers say he walked away from them.
“Once it was his turn to basically rest he just vanished and the next morning they were trying to do a roll call and they couldn’t find him,” said Nathan Bethea, who served in the same battalion as Bergdahl.
The Pentagon concluded in 2010 that Bergdahl walked away from his unit. A military investigation didn’t formally accuse him of desertion. Officials say he will be questioned about his disappearance once his health improves.
At least six U.S. soldiers died while searching for Bergdahl. “He pretty much walked away voluntarily and in turn the actions that may have killed them,” said Josh Korder, who also served with Bergdahl.
Pentagon officials say the circumstances of his capture are irrelevant.
“If you’re taken captive, we’re going to do all we can to get you back. It doesn’t matter the circumstances in which you were taken captive. It doesn’t matter whether it was due to your own negligence or enemy action,” said Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby.
If Bergdahl is found to have deserted his unit, should he be punished by the military, or is nearly five years in captivity enough of a punishment? Share your comments below, and watch for them on WBZ News in the Morning from 4:30 to 7:00 a.m.