U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl‘s family is understandably happy that he is now on his way home, having been released by his captives in exchange for five senior Taliban terrorists held at Guantanamo Bay.
But soldiers who served with Bergdahl say he is a deserter, and his actions cost the lives of fellow Americans.
“I was pissed off then and I am even more so now with everything going on,” former Sgt. Matt Vierkant told CNN. “Bowe Bergdahl deserted during a time of war and his fellow Americans lost their lives searching for him.”
CNN reported on the fallout from Bergdahl’s controversial disappearance:
At least six soldiers were killed in subsequent searches for Bergdahl, and many soldiers in his platoon said attacks seemed to increase against the United States in Paktika Province in the days and weeks following his disappearance.
Vierkant, who served in Bergdahl’s platoon at the time he went missing, said the soldier should face a military trial for desertion.
CNN also noted that many of those who served with Bergdahl, to include his fellow squad mates, said they signed nondisclosure agreements to not share any information on his disappearance and the resulting efforts to find him.
Some are willing to talk anyway, out of concern that Bergdahl will be seen as a hero.
Former Pfc. Jose Baggett served in a company that took part in the search for the missing soldier and spoke of the price that was paid in trying to locate him.
“He walked off,” Baggett told CNN. “He left his guard post. Nobody knows if he defected or he’s a traitor or he was kidnapped. What I do know is he was there to protect us and instead he decided to defer from America and go and do his own thing. I don’t know why he decided to do that, but we spend so much of our resources and some of those resources were soldiers’ lives.”
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