Final Word: Bergdahl’s story is troubling

Jun 2, 2014, 9:11 PM | Updated: Jun 3, 2014, 2:10 am

Five Taliban detainees, by all accounts HIGH LEVEL commanders, were let go over the weekend to secure American Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s release.

I am all for getting any American back when we can, but the Bergdahl story is troubling, and not just because of the “prisoner price” paid.

A story published Monday morning on the Daily Beast details the night he went missing. The solder who wrote it said he and others were ordered not to talk about the story while Bergdahl was still a prisoner, so it’s coming out now.

This soldier wrote that Bergdahl had been on guard duty that night, and deserted after his shift ended. He left behind his rifle, helmet, body armor and web gear, but took his compass. He had mentioned to fellow soldiers that he wanted to walk to India.

The unit was undermanned and the deployment was intense, yet every day members of Bergdahl’s unit searched for him. They looked for 24 hours at a time in wretched conditions, searching hostile villages at great personal risk.

The unit suffered attacks that caused the deaths of several soldiers, and many believe the attacks wouldn’t have happened without the search for the AWOL soldier.
Several more soldiers died actively searching for Bergdahl.

I know every effort has to be made to get a soldier who has deserted to come back, not only for morale, but for security reasons.

But how many American lives PLUS Taliban commanders are worth one AWOL soldier, one who left on his own in the middle of the night?

And what do we do with them when we get them back?
We may never know what pushes a soldier to commit war crimes. Remember U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales?
He was off duty in Afghanistan and went on a killing spree, killing 16 Afghan villagers, mostly women and children.

Bales is the worst of the worst. I think he got off easy by being given life in prison instead of the death penalty.

But what causes a soldier to desert his unit, endangering his fellow soldiers who had to go out looking for him?

So, soldier Bergdahl, welcome home. Sorry if I am not too interested in how you spent your five years of captivity. As far as I am concerned, you have a lot of explaining to do.

Karie Dozer

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Final Word: Bergdahl’s story is troubling