Bergdahl Platoon Mate: Desertion Is 'Unforgivable'

Thursday, 17 Jul 2014 03:34 PM

By Melissa Clyne

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A member of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's former platoon in Afghanistan says the soldier's decision to walk away from his post in Afghanistan is "unforgivable" and something for which he should be held accountable.

According to Matt Vierkant, Bergdahl presented a totally different front to his brothers in arms than he did to his parents.

"His letters and emails home talking badly about the military and America contradicts what he was telling us while we were in Afghanistan,"Vierkant told host John Bachman on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV Thursday.

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"He wanted to do more missions to find the Taliban, to seek them out, and to essentially kill them and do an infantry job, what we came there to do. But at the same time that he's talking disrespectfully about the military and America back to his parents, and then telling lies to whoever about running over children or whatever. There's so many aspects of this story, there's so many holes, there's so many contradictions. It doesn't even make sense."

News reports that Bergdahl was a victim are "ridiculous,"according to Vierkant.

"I understand that he went through five years of captivity, but that wasn't my fault,"he said.

"That was his own fault. He put himself in that position.

After five years in captivity beginning in June 2009, President Obama approved a prisoner swap involving Bergdahl. On May 31, Bergdahl was handed over to the U.S. military in exchange for five senior Taliban members held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Bergdahl is being represented by Eugene Fidell, a civilian lawyer specializing in military law.

Vierkant took issue with Bergdahl being returned to duty -- assigned to a desk job -- with no restrictions on his freedom.

"He's not being treated like any other person being investigated for desertion,"he said.

"(He's) almost being treated like a hero instead of being treated like he's actually under investigation.”

Vierkant hopes Bergdahl receives a fair trial but wants Americans to understand that desertion "is a very, very serious charge"that he and other soldiers take "seriously and personally.”

"If I was in Bergdahl's position and somebody was accusing me, or allegations of desertion and everything else were coming up against me, I'd be the first one to speak up and defend myself,"he said. "They won't even talk about his mindset or his health or even let him speak a word. They all tip-toe around it and I just found it really interesting.”

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