Bergdahl: An Appropriate Sentence?

In June 2009, U.S. Army Private First Class Bowe Bergdahl deserted his post in Afghanistan and was captured by Taliban forces. He was held for five years where he was tortured, beaten, and held in a cage in darkness after he tried to escape.

In May of 2014, Bergdahl was released in exchange for five Taliban prisoners from Guantanamo Bay. The exchange was approved by then President Barack Obama.

After an investigation, the US military charged Bergdahl with one count each of desertion with intent to shirk important or hazardous duty, and misbehavior before the enemy by endangering the safety of a command, unit, or place.

Bergdahl pleaded guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.

Last week Bergdahl received a dishonorable discharge from the US Army with no prison time. His rank will be reduced from sergeant to private, he will be required to pay a $1,000 fine from his salary for the next 10 months. The sentence will be reviewed by higher authorities.

I think the sentence is appropriate.

Many people were outraged at the sentence and that is fine. Some of the reasons they were outraged were false reasons – like that soldiers were killed looking for Bergdahl. It’s true that soldiers looked for Bergdahl and some were badly injured, but the only death was a military working dog.

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The Commander-in-Chief and Bergdahl

It was disclosed yesterday that U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl would be pleading guilty to desertion and to endangering the American troops sent to search for him.

The New York Times reports that the guilty plea could mean a five-year sentence for the desertion charge, and the charge of endangering troops carries a potential life sentence. He is due to be sentenced October 23.(WaPo)

I’ve written several posts about Bowe Bergdahl here at The Western Word. I wanted to see a full investigation into the matter before jumping to conclusions.

Leading up to the last Presidential election, Donald Trump should have toned down his hatred toward Bergdahl (not to mention others who were captured) and wait for answers. Of course, Trump did not.

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Thursday Numbers

Loyalty to the Nation all the time, loyalty to the Government when it deserves it. – Mark Twain

Welcome to “Thursday Numbers!” In case you’re a first-time visitor, this is the weekly column where I take a look at the numbers that are in the news (in descending order) and provide commentary sometimes sprinkled with sarcasm.

This week’s topics include the Powerball jackpot, unemployment, U.S. Army, Greg Gianforte, Great Falls Public Schools, safest states, president’s job approval rating, Steve Daines & Venmo, Bob Stoops, James Comey, Scooter Gennett & home runs, Warriors & Cavaliers, and much more!

Thanks for reading!

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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.

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Thursday Numbers

Whoop, whoop this is the last “Thursday Numbers” in February! Where is spring?

If you are a first-time visitor, “Thursday Numbers” is the column where I take a look at the numbers that are in the news (in descending order) and provide commentary (sometimes spiked with a little sarcasm).

This week I write about Steve Daines & that generation thingy, the U.S. Army, the Golden Gate Bridge, Mega Millions, March madness, military spending, Malmstrom AFB, Sunburst, the 40-yard dash, Montana’s liquor industry, unemployment, and much more!

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Campaign 2014: Honor Veterans

It’s becoming evident that anything and everything will be fair game during the 2014 campaign season.

That means nothing is sacred – not even a candidate’s honorable service in the military.

Most readers know that I am a veteran. My 11 years, seven months and 28 days of active-duty service in the U.S. Air Force was one of the greatest times in my life. I hold my fellow veterans in high regard – no matter on which side of the political fence they reside.

Some of my beliefs may seem odd, but I believe we could do better with more veterans serving in elected office. By the way, we could do better if people who wrote or reported about military issues had actually served in the military, too.

Recently the conservative group called American Crossroads hit the airwaves with an ad about Senator (and Democratic candidate) John Walsh, who served in the U.S. Army. Those on the left have been going after U.S. House candidate Ryan Zinke, a Republican, who served in the U.S. Navy, almost daily.

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Four Years

On June 30, 2009, U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, 27, of Hailey, Idaho, disappeared from his base in southeastern Afghanistan.

That was four years ago yesterday.

If you haven’t heard about Bowe Bergdahl, you’re not alone. That seems to be changing and that’s a good thing.

The commander of the U.S. Forces Afghanistan, Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, issued a statement about Bergdahl saying, “Four years later, we are still waiting for Sgt. Bergdahl’s safe return, and it is my sincere hope that the wait will soon come to an end. To Sgt. Bergdahl’s family, I want to say that we know you have not given up hope, and neither have we.”

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