Welcome Home Bowe

I have been following the Bowe Bergdahl issue for several years. I “Liked” a Facebook page dedicated to his return and followed a Twitter account called @WaitingForBowe to keep up with the latest information.

For those who don’t know about Bergdahl, he is a U.S. Army soldier who was captured by the enemy in Afghanistan back in June 2009. He was released on May 31, 2014.

I am happy and grateful for his release – one can only imagine what he went through and what his family went through these last five years. We should all be happy that he made it home. Military personnel should always be brought home – we should leave no one behind.

The circumstances surrounding his capture and his release deserve to be investigated.

In regard to his capture, I read several new reports in which fellow soldiers accused Bergdahl of deserting his unit by just walking away. Others reports have said that he was drunk and captured, or that he fell behind on a patrol and was captured, and another one I read said he was captured coming out of the latrine.

There are claims that up to six soldiers died while searching for Bergdahl, but according to a recent story from Fox News, the Pentagon has not confirmed this claim.

I was in the military and I can tell you there’s nothing like the rumors and stories that come from the “barrack lawyers.” All these accusations will be sorted out when Bergdahl is well enough. If Bergdahl is found to be a deserter, it will be dealt with for sure. One has to ask though: what punishment can Bergdahl receive that is more severe than spending five years as a prisoner under Taliban control?  The United States Disciplinary Barracks in Leavenworth, Kansas, would be like a piece of cake.

The New York Times has a pretty good story about the Bergdahl issue titled, “Bowe Bergdahl’s Vanishing Before Capture Angered His Unit.” You can read it HERE.

As for the prisoner swap, that concerns me greatly. Of course, it’s a political issue because in Washington, if you can score a few political points on an issue you go for it. We should all remember that most of the folks elected to represent us in Washington never served in the military and don’t understand the pressures of being in the military, let alone being in a hostile military situation.

The Obama Administration says they consulted Congress about this swap. I am concerned that next time the enemy may want 10 bad guys for our good guy, or 15 or 20.

When will it be too much?

Do our enemies now have a better reason to abduct Americans?

Overall, I think it sets a bad precedent.

At the end of the New York Times article Rear Adm. John F. Kirby, the Pentagon spokesman, probably summed up the Bergdahl situation best:

The American military does not leave soldiers behind. “When you’re in the Navy, and you go overboard, it doesn’t matter if you were pushed, fell or jumped,” he said. “We’re going to turn the ship around and pick you up.”

Welcome home Bowe.

 

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3 thoughts on “Welcome Home Bowe

  1. Pingback: Caught My Eye… « The Western Word

  2. I decided to wait a few days to respond to this…first of all, welcome home Bowe. Being from a military family, I fully agree that we never leave a man behind. And now Bowe is making his transition to come home and be with his family.

    But there is way to much that doesn’t make sense in this swap.

    It is now understood that Bowe wandered off his FOB twice. Once out of boredom and the last to seek out the Taliban (according to his fellow platoon soldiers and his Sargent.It was even heard on a radio communication that he was looking for an English speaking Taliban soldier to communicate with. There is probably a video that shows his departure from the FOB.It’s my guess that the administration knew this going in to get him back. I can live with that too.

    What I struggle with is our giving up 5 key elite members of the Taliban leadership in an even exchange. These are 5 very dangerous people that have even more incentive to inflict damage on the US and its citizens. They are free to be anywhere in Qatar and can leave after one year. Qatar is a friendly place for terrorists and won’t spend much time keeping track of them. Even if they stay for the year, they will likely be in communication with their fellow Taliban helping to plan the next attacks.

    I also struggle with Susan “The Video” Rice going on the Sunday talk shows (again) to tell us he served with honor and distinction. I wonder where these talking points came from. Probably the same folks that blamed Benghazi on a video…oh, that would be the White House.

    The other challenge for Bowe is that he will now have to answer why he sent his personal effects home, left his weapon, his letter to his parents and walked off his post. Unless the White House steps in, Bowe is certainly looking at a court marshal for his actions. If he thought he had it tough with the Taliban, his journey as a deserter won’t be any better.

    The White said they didn’t have time to tell Congress about the swap because of Bowe’s health. In watching the Taliban’s video of the swap. Bowe looked healthy, at least healthy for his situation, and he walked on his own to the Blackhawk to be sent home.

    So, welcome home Bowe, next time you see President Obama you should ask him to add you to his “pardon” list when his term is up.

    In the next few months, we will hear the rest of the story…

    • Barry – Thanks for your comments. Although we know he was captured and now has been returned in a swap, the rest is speculation until the official report comes out. -JmB

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