The story “We Lost Soldiers in the Hunt for Bergdahl, a Guy Who Walked Off in the Dead of Night” over on the The Daily Beast has gone absolutely viral, as have several similar stories from soldiers who served with him. (Having read many of them, I recommend the one above if you’re just reading one.)
Ignoring the argument of whether it was wise or not to trade for him — that’s too political and heated for me to touch! — the fact is we now have Sgt Bergdahl and we’re going to have to do something with him.
In the military community, the talk has been almost non-stop on what should happen. Frankly, most of it has been over-blown and too passionate, in my opinion.
But an officer I served with made some of the most insanely good commentary I’ve seen yet.
In asking him about Bergdahl, I said, “The evidence against Bergdahl seems pretty stacked, but he deserves the chance to explain what happened. (And I’m glad I don’t have to make the call — five years in captivity would make what should be a pretty simple decision much more difficult.)”
My friend and officer, who I’m choosing not to name, replied with this amazing analysis:
“Seems like a strange cat to begin with. His pops’ whole growing a beard thing suggests the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. But if he deserted, he needs to be held accountable, at least nominally (even if only NJP). Tougher call about all of the VA benefits he would rate as a POW. If he aided and abetted though, he needs to get hammered. That will be a tough case to prove though from an evidentiary standpoint because everyone breaks sooner or later. Tough to draw that line.”
What do the members of Mitchell’s Militia think? Do you agree?
And what do you all think should happen? (If commenting, please keep your comments as tactful and respectful as possible!)
Keep the faith,
Stan R. Mitchell
Oak Ridge, Tenn.
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If you enjoy fast-paced books, you just might like my works. “Sold Out” tracks the life of a legendary Marine Sniper after a CIA unit decides to kill him for reasons of national security. “Little Man, and the Dixon County War” tells the uphill fight a young deputy faces after finding himself in the sights of a mighty cattle baron. And “Soldier On,” a short novel, follows the lives of several German soldiers in a depleted infantry company trying to make it through the final, miserable months of World War II.