Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl released from hospital
Returned to active duty at Fort Sam Houston Monday
SAN ANTONIO – After his release in May from five years of Taliban captivity, Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is back on active duty assignment in a new unit on post at Fort Sam Houston.
The military says he is being reintegrated now that his counseling and therapy at San Antonio Military Medical Center is complete.
His status with the military now means that he is free to begin working among other soldiers at Army North, but his future remains clouded by accusations that he is a deserter.
Jeffrey Addicott, a law professor and director of the Center for Terrorism Law at St. Mary's University, said, "We don't leave soldiers behind, but Bergdahl left us behind, and people died trying to find him," upon hearing that no charges have been filed against him.
Addicott has worked in Special Forces and has represented military members who have been court-martialed.
He feels that by releasing Bergdahl into active duty on post, the military plans to downplay the accusations that he is at the least guilty of going AWOL from his unit in Afghanistan and, at worst, of treason.
"The evidence is pretty clear, pretty overwhelming. They've had a long time to gather statements of soldiers and I'm sure he's been interviewed," Addicott said. "At a minimum, the charge should be levied against him for desertion."
He believes the military is moving very slowly in comparison to other cases, and political pressure may be the reason why.
Still, Addicott says he hopes that the soldier is safely in custody.
"The reality is that I hope they are watching him very closely, because he is very likely to flee if he can, to leave Fort Sam, go absent without leave again. He's gone once. There's nothing to stop him from going twice unless he's watched and observed," said Addicott.
An Army fact-finding investigation concluded that Bergdahl left his outpost deliberately and of his own free will, but there was no definitive conclusion that he was a deserter.
Thus far, Bergdahl has had no contact with his mother and father in Idaho, who worked to gain his controversial release.
Bergdahl was exchanged as a prisoner of war for five Taliban generals who had been imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay.
Critics of the swap says Bergdahl was actually a deserter who endangered his colleagues who went in search for him. Five soldiers died in that search.
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