• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 13s

Military: Bergdahl had left his post at least once before Taliban capture

By Margaret Brennan / CBS News 4:40 PM June 4, 2014

Bowe Bergdahl remained in a U.S. military hospital in Germany Wednesday night.

In the meantime, we’ve learned more about his service record in Afghanistan, in the months before he was captured.

When he was captured, Bergdahl had less than a year of military service and his official performance record was without blemish.

But an internal military investigation conducted after his 2009 disappearance found that he had wandered off post without permission at least once before.

 

bergdahlcaptivesitting.jpg

Bowe Bergdahl had left his post without permission at least one other time before his capture

 

Yet his unit members failed to report it.

Fellow soldiers told investigators that Bergdahl had talked about wanting to explore Afghanistan, and exhibited behavior that some considered strange.

Then on the night of June 30, 2009, Bergdahl neatly stacked up his equipment, and walked off the outpost in eastern Afghanistan.

A retired army commander tells CBS News that in the weeks that followed, military and intelligence operations in the area ‘dramatically increased.’ Some of those patrols succeeded in eliminating many enemy combatants, but also led to the loss of some U.S. soldiers.

One of them was 20-year-old Private Matthew Martinek. He was killed three months later on patrol in the same province where Bergdahl disappeared.

“He loved his country, he loved his family,” his mother, Cheryl Brandis, said.

Brandis and Martinek’s stepfather, Ken Luccioni, said fellow soldiers told them their son died while searching for Bergdahl.

“I’m happy he’s home, I’m happy for his family that their son is not in harm’s way anymore, but now he needs to stand up as a man and be accountable for the actions that he did and what it caused,” Luccioni said.

On Wednesday Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said he had not seen any evidence that soldiers had died because of Bergdahl’s disappearance.

If the military accuses him of misconduct, what might they charge him with?

We did learn today that Bergdahl’s unit established that he had been captured within 30 minutes of his disappearance. To be charged as adeserter, you need to have been voluntarily gone from your post for 30 days. So until we hear Bergdahl’s side of the story, it’s really unclear what charges he could face.

© 2014 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Latest Stories

  • Lifestyle

    Lose weight without diet or exercise? Try freezing fat cells away

    by Lauren Maxwell on May 04, 21:05

    Most of us have a part of our bodies we don’t love — maybe a pudgy place that diet and exercise just can’t seem to ever reach. One Anchorage salon says they have the answer for that. It’s a procedure called CoolSculpting. Eileen Johnson, the practice manager at Solara Skin and Laser Center, said they’ve […]

  • Lifestyle

    Combing qiviut keeps staff busy at Musk Ox Farm

    by Heather Hintze on May 04, 20:55

    Musk ox at the farm in Palmer had a little help shedding their winter weight to get ready for summer. Staff at the nonprofit spend this time of year combing out qiviut—the soft undercoat that keeps musk ox warm on the frigid tundra in the wild. “When they’re ready, it’s like putting a hot knife through […]

  • Politics

    Alaska Republican Party reacts to Trump’s presumed nomination

    by Alexis Fernandez on May 04, 20:50

    With Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Sen. Ted Cruz out of the presidential race, the path to the Republican presidential nomination is clear for Donald Trump. But in Alaska, Republican voters are still divided on who should be the nominee. This past weekend, The Alaska Republican Party met in Fairbanks to address the candidates. Chairman […]

  • News

    Meet Odie, APD’s new tech sniffing police dog

    by Shannon Ballard on May 04, 19:17

    The Anchorage Police Department has a new investigative tool they think will make a big difference in the war against child porn. That tool is Odin, a two-year-old yellow lab who’s combating cyber crime with his nose. He is one of only 10 dogs in the world specially trained to sniff out chemicals found in electronic […]

  • News

    Biggest air bag recall in US history gets massively bigger

    by Kate Gibson / Money Watch on May 04, 18:38

    U.S. safety regulators on Wednesday more than doubled what was already the largest recall in U.S. history, adding an additional 35 million to 40 million Takata air bag inflators to the 28.8 million already in need of being replaced. These recall expansions are planned to take place in phases between May 2016 and December 2019, […]

  • News

    McCauley among finalists for education commissioner

    by Associated Press on May 04, 17:51

    Interim state education commissioner Susan McCauley is among the finalists for the commissioner’s post. The other finalists, announced by the state board of education Wednesday, are Michael Johnson, Stewart McDonald and Robert Boyle. Johnson is superintendent of the Copper River School District. McDonald is superintendent of the Kodiak Island Borough School District. Boyle is superintendent […]

  • News

    New commander to take over at US Army Pacific

    by Associated Press on May 04, 16:22

    A new commander is taking over as the leader of Army soldiers in the Pacific. Gen. Robert Brown succeeds Gen. Vincent Brooks as the commander of U.S. Army Pacific. Brooks is becoming the new commander of U.S. Forces Korea. Brown will lead about 80,000 active duty soldiers around the Pacific including in Alaska, Hawaii and […]

  • News

    Grass fire north of Meadow Lakes neighborhood 90 percent contained, officials say

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 04, 16:07

    Last updated at 9:23 p.m. on Wednesday, May 4 A grass fire near Wasilla was 90 percent contained by 9 p.m., according to fire officials at the scene. The fire was estimated to be roughly 15 acres in size Wednesday evening and is located along a logging road at the end of Sunset Drive in […]