WashPost: Bergdahl's Writings Reveal 'Fragile' Mental State

Wednesday, 11 Jun 2014 12:43 PM

By Drew MacKenzie

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The handwritten journal of Bowe Bergdahl, along with other disturbing writings, reveal he suffered from a "fragile" mental state long before he vanished from his post and was captured by the Taliban, The Washington Post reported.

The blue spiral-bound journal and his discharge papers from the Coast Guard in 2006 on psychological grounds, as well as essays, stories, and emails written by the freed Army sergeant, were obtained by the Post.

The newspaper says that they paint a portrait of "a deeply complicated and fragile" individual who was by his own account "struggling to maintain his mental stability" from basic training to the moment he walked away from his station in Afghanistan.

In the journal, he called himself "the lone wolf of deadly nothingness," and in one entry before being sent overseas he wrote, "I’m worried. The closer I get to ship day, the calmer the voices are. I’m reverting. I’m getting colder.

"My feelings are being flushed with the frozen logic and the training, all the unfeeling cold judgment of the darkness."

In another segment, he wrote, "I will not lose this mind, this world I have deep inside. I will not lose this passion of beauty."

In a later section of the journal, he wrote that he was trying to keep himself together, adding, "I’m so tired of the blackness, but what will happen to me without it. Bloody hell, why do I keep thinking of this over and over."

In a bizarre email to a friend two weeks before he went missing in 2009, Bergdahl talked about "hiding from the fields of blood and screams, hidden from the monster within himself."

His longtime friend Kim Harrison told the Post that several days after he vanished, a package containing his journal, his Apple laptop, and his military records, along with other items, was sent to her home.

Harrison, who was designated in his Army papers as the person who should receive Bergdahl’s remains, shared the journal and computer files with the Post because she’s angry that Bergdahl has been called a scheming deserter, in contrast to the sensitive young man she knew him to be.

Harrison said the Coast Guard discharge should have raised a red flag about his mental fitness for military service before he was approved as a recruit for the Army in 2008. A discharge for psychological reasons from the Coast Guard would usually disqualify a potential Army recruit, the Post reported.

The Coast Guard said that records show Bergdahl left the service with an "uncharacterized discharge" after only 26 days of basic training in 2006, well short of the standard 180 days.

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