A Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson soldier taken hostage by the Taliban in Afghanistan and held for five years is coming home. But some of his fellow service members say he’s not worthy of a hero’s welcome.
Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was released Saturday in exchange for five Guantanamo Bay detainees.
Bergdahl is a member of the 4-25 Airborne Combat Brigade.
The Taliban captured him while he was deployed in Afghanistan.
Details surrounding the capture are fuzzy. Some soldiers say Bergdahl deserted and should be tried as a traitor.
A post about his release on the JBER Facebook page generated hot debate about whether Bergdahl is a hero or a man who walked away from his post, deserting his fellow soldiers. Some called for an investigation into exactly what happened, while others said the U.S. shouldn’t be negotiating with terrorists.
But some commenters called on the community to support Bergdahl, saying whatever happened, no soldier should be left behind.
JBER leadership will not comment on the details surrounding Bergdahl’s capture or release.
“We are happy and relieved at the news of Sgt. Bergdahl’s recent release from captivity,” said Lt. Col. Alan Brown. “We wish him the best of luck as he goes through the reintegration process and becomes reunited with his family.”
A petition on the “We the People” section of the White House website calls for Bergdahl to be punished for deserting during Operation Enduring Freedom. It also attributes the deaths of several soldiers to his actions. They died while searching for him.