U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has been a hot topic here in Anchorage.
He was stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson as a member of the 4-25 Airborne Infantry Brigade and was deployed with the unit when he went missing in 2009.
Some local soldiers know Bergdahl personally. Others were part of the team tasked with searching for him.
One of those servicemen, an active duty member of the military, is speaking out.
He says he wanted to tell his story because he wants people to know the anger many local soldiers feel towards Bergdahl is warranted.
His name and face have been concealed and his voice altered to protect his identity.
The serviceman says he felt angry after placing his life on the line searching for a man he knew to be a deserter.
He tells us he read a copy of a note Bergdahl left behind when he disappeared.
“This was a very long time ago so I can’t say word for word, but I do know one of the things he did say is that they were hypocrites and that’s one of the things that I actually held on to and made me very resentful when I was forced to go look for this individual,” the serviceman said Thursday.
He says Berdgahl didn’t just walk off the base in Afghanistan, as some have claimed.
The serviceman says Bergdahl was on a mission outside the base, checked in with a convoy about to return and walked away.
“He checked in and then he was just gone. There’s no way you can check in and then just be gone by being taken. That would mean one of the bad guys would have to come up and kidnap him in the middle of a field with 100, 200 soldiers around,” the serviceman said.
By checking in first, Bergdahl wasn’t noted missing until hours later. The serviceman says Bergdahl sought out the Taliban, who took him in.
“We do know that they were calling him the white prophet or white messiah. He dressed in their clothes, he grew out his beard just like them,” the serviceman said.
Reports show six American soldiers died searching for Bergdahl.
The serviceman says he wants to know what was going on; why Bergdahl felt he had no other choice than to desert.
“I think that there’s no such thing as justice when you get your friends or you get other people killed. I’m not looking for, ‘Hey, put him on death row,’ or anything like that. I just want, maybe some closure. Why?” the serviceman said.