"He's a traitor and a deserter ... this man's not a national hero..."
The parents of one of the US soldiers killed in one of the numerous search and rescue missions for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl have openly accused Barack Obama of conspiring in a "cover-up" regarding the death of their son. As reported by The Army Times, NBC News and The Daily Mail (of London, England) all are reporting on June 2, 2014, that the parents of an Army officer killed in action (KIA) are hammering the decision recently struck with the Taliban for the release of a soldier who many accuse of deserting his post in Afghanistan.
The parents of 2d Lt. Darryn Andrews were told of the death of their son in 2009. To make the situation worse, the surviving parents along with Lt. Andrews widowed wife are now charging they were lied to concerning the death of Darryn. Sondra Andrews stated her family was informed by Army officials that their son died on "a mission to capture a top Taliban fighter."
"'By omission, we assumed they were just pursuing the Taliban,' she said. 'Then the guys [Darryn Andrews served with] started contacting me. They said, ‘No, ma’am, we were looking for [Bergdahl].'"
The Gold Star mother made it clear how disgusted she is towards the entire way the government has conducted themselves throughout the entire evolution since Bergdahl's accused desertion to his recent release by the Taliban in return for five of their hand-picked top men who were held in Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility.
Possibly in only words another mother could honestly feel, Sondra left little doubt exactly how she felt concerning the government not even letting the Andrews family know that five top Taliban commanders were being released for now-Sgt. Bergdhal:
They didn’t have enough respect for us to give us the consideration of letting us know, especially since Darryn was part of that mission. As a mother, you’re like, ‘what else have they not told us?
Mrs. Andrews also retold of how her son let the folks back home know that even though it was obvious that Bergdahl deserted his post, his platoon was still under orders to conduct foot and vehicle patrols for him in Taliban-controlled territory:
They found his gear. They knew [he’d left]. You don’t get captured and leave your gear in neat little stacks. They knew he had walked away from his post.”
Lt. Andrews' widow, Julie, who was pregnant with her second child when he was KIA, the news of Taliban commanders being traded for the individual who may have been responsible for the death of her husband "left her feeling physically ill." As the widow now with two fatherless children stated:
It's a slap in the face to people who served and risked their lives. They put their lives on the line to put these men in jail and now there's this man [Bergdahl] with questionable character and devotion to the military who has been traded for these criminals.
A father's rage...
Lt. Andrews father, Andy, spoke in blunt, straight-to-the-point language in slamming Obama as well as the hero tag some in the Administration have bestowed upon Bergdahl:
It’s a big cover-up like Benghazi, just like everything Obama has done. We want the truth to come out.
If this guy [Bergdahl] had not gone off post, our son would not have been killed.
Perhaps summing up the situation in a single sentence, the elder Andrews was quoted:
I think people need to be aware that the guy was not a hero and American lives have been lost trying to save this deserter.
Was it worth it?
Promoted to sergeant while in Taliban custody, during the five years Burgdahl was supposedly held as a "prisoner of war" by the Taliban, at least eight soldiers have been killed in the numerous search and rescue missions to locate him. As reported by ex-soldier Nathan Bethea who was with the same command in Afghanistan as Bergdahl, penned for The Daily Beast those KIA'ed for Bergdahl are: Private First Class Aaron Fairbairn, Private First Class Justin Casillas, Private First Class Matthew Martinek, Private First Class Morris Walker, Staff Sergeant Clayton Bowen, Staff Sergeant Kurt Curtiss, Staff Sergeant Michael Murphrey and Second Lieutenant Darryn Andrews.
Obama official weighs in...
Susan Rice, the former US Ambassador to the United Nations and current National Security Advisor to Barack Obama stated in an interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos that Bergdahl "served the United States with honor and distinction." Despite Rice having no authority of uniformed members of the Armed Forces, when asked if Bergdahl would face possible charges of desertion, Rice stated matter-of-factly:
Certainly anybody who's been held in those conditions, in captivity for five years, has paid an extraordinary price. But that is really not the point. The point is that he's back.
Details of Lt. Andrews heroism...
While the Andrews family states that as Darryn and his men were conducting a search for the missing then-Private First Class Bergdahl, the lead truck was hit by an Improvised Explosive Device and ended up crashing into the bomb-induced crater. As the soldiers dismounted and attempted to move the wrecked truck out of the way, the troops were ambushed by a Taliban militia member armed with a rocket propelled grenade and opened fired on them.
By all accounts, "Lt Andrews was the only one to see it and tackled three of his men to prevent them being hit. He took a direct hit and died." Lt Andrews was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for his bravery in the face of the enemy.