Bowe Bergdahl's release has struck a raw cord with many this weekend after learning that secret negotiations with terrorists resulted in his release from the other side of the world. Bergdahl's fellow soldiers called him a "deserter" and a man whose "selfish act" ended up costing the lives of true American heroes, according to CNN News on June 2.
The return of Bergdahl came with a cost to the U.S. on so many different levels.While some rejoiced for a soldier coming home, others were left wrestling with their thoughts around what the President was thinking when making this unprecedented bargain with terrorists.
The National Post reports today that Bowe Bergdahl "allegedly left his post because he'd grown disillusioned with America's war." They are asking was Bergdahl a "hero" or was he a "deserter?" The same question was asked on Monday morning's "Fox and Friends."
While the media is debating this question, the men and women in the armed forces are the ones who have the most to lose from this bargain made with the enemy. Each member of the military serving in Afghanistan today could be looked upon as a bargaining chip for the enemy.
Sgt. Matt Vierkant, a member of Bergdahl's platoon when he went missing on June 30, 2009, shared his thoughts when he heard about the release of Bergdahl. Vierkant said "I was pissed off then and I am even more so now with everything going on."
His fellow soldiers lost their lives looking for him and many believe that he was a man that didn't want to be found. He allegedly walked off the base after telling his fellow infantrymen that he was "ashamed to be an American."
He allegedly wrote to his parents that, "I am sorry for everything. The horror that is America is disgusting." According to the soldiers who were serving with Bergdahl on the base, he was on guard and walked off. They went looking for a man who didn't want to be found.
One soldier reports that "the amount of animosity (toward him) is nothing like you've seen before." This was not only among the soldiers who were serving side-by-side with Bergdahl at the time he went missing. This animosity is felt by many in the military today. Vierkant also said that he doesn't understand how trading prisoners at GITMO for "someone who deserted during a time of war, which is an act of treason," could have ever happened.
This prisoner swap has now made American soldiers bargaining chips in the eyes of the enemy. America has conveyed loud and clear with their actions that they are willing to barter for American soldiers being held prisoner. This puts soldiers at risk more than ever before.
One American soldier stationed in Afghanistan today conveys that the soldiers are outraged over this prisoner exchange. The troupes stationed on the base refused to cheer when this prisoner exchange was announced as successful.
They do not believe that a prisoner of war is coming home, they believe a deserter has been freed and is making his way back to the states. This will be the case for Bergdahl once his medical condition is stabilized. His father said in a press conference that he has been told that his son is speaking very little English.
The bottom line is that America has had a long standing policy that they do not negotiate with terrorists and for some reason that is not the case today. Congress did not receive the mandated 30-day notice as to the intentions of the administration to negotiate the turning over of five terrorists for Bergdahl's return.