• 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

    Harvesting Alaska: So you want to be a judge of food entries at the fair?

    by Jessica Stugelmayer on Aug 30, 16:56

    High up on a plain white wall, the skinny hand of a clock ticked away the seconds, counting down the moments competitors had left to enter their creations. When the time came, the door was shut to the dark and stormy night outside and a small group of 12 judges were assigned to stations around […]

  • News

    Man dead following officer-involved shooting in Fairbanks

    by Associated Press on Aug 30, 16:55

    A man is dead following a police officer-involved shooting in Fairbanks. Yumi McCulloch with the Fairbanks Police Department said police received a call Tuesday afternoon stating an armed man had entered a motel room pointing a gun. She says a struggle ensued and the man fled on foot. She says the man, who was being […]

  • Lifestyle

    How did Listeria get into recalled veggies?

    by Rachel Rettner / Livescience.com on Aug 30, 16:50

    About 30,000 cases of precut vegetables are being recalled in many Southeastern states because they could be contaminated with Listeria. But how, exactly, do these bacteria get into veggies? This week, the food manufacturer Country Fresh announced a recall of several of its vegetable products — including precut onions, mushrooms and peppers — after one of […]

  • Lifestyle

    Great Pumpkin Weigh-Off sets a new state record

    by Lauren Maxwell on Aug 30, 15:54

    An  Anchorage man has taken top prize for his record-setting pumpkin at the State Fair in Palmer. Dale Marshal’s pumpkin tipped the scales at 1,469 pounds, beating the old state record by more than 180 pounds. Marshal said he’s been pursuing the record for the last five years and had a good feeling about today’s winning […]

  • News

    Alaska Native elder and leader dies at age 77

    by Associated Press on Aug 30, 15:19

    ANCHORAGE — John Schaeffer Jr., an Inupiat Eskimo elder and tribal leader in northwest Alaska, has died. He was 77. Schaeffer was the first president and CEO of the NANA Regional Corp. NANA Chief Operating Officer Lori Henry says Schaeffer died Aug. 25 in Kotzebue, his hometown. He will be buried in Kotzebue on Wednesday […]

  • DayBreak

    Alaskans line up by the dozens for first taste of Krispy Kreme

    by Sierra Starks on Aug 30, 13:31

    Alaskans lined up by the dozens for their first taste of Krispy Kreme Tuesday. Doors opened at 5 a.m., but eager customers camped out overnight in anticipation of the “Hot Now” light to be turned on. “There were so many people here,” said Krispy Kreme Alaska franchise owner Jack Lewis of the crowd that gathered […]

  • Politics

    ‘I made a mistake’: Juneau lawmaker withdraws letters supporting convicted child abusers

    by Liz Raines on Aug 30, 12:53

    Juneau representative Cathy Munoz has withdrawn two letters she wrote in support of sentencing review for two convicted child abusers after receiving criticism from child advocacy groups, who said the move would discourage victims from coming forward. “The two letters I wrote in support of sentencing review unintentionally caused pain to victims of sexual abuse […]

  • News

    Obama cuts short the sentences of 111 federal inmates

    by Associated Press on Aug 30, 12:02

    WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama has cut short the sentences of 111 federal inmates in another round of commutations for those convicted of nonviolent drug offenses. Obama has long called for phasing out strict sentences for drug offenses, arguing they lead to excessive punishment and incarceration rates unseen in other developed countries. White House […]