Tags: Afghanistan | Exclusive Interviews | Steve Malzberg Show | War on Terrorism | Bowe Bergdahl | Andrews | plea

Mom of Soldier Killed in Search: No Plea or Pardon for Bergdahl

By    |   Friday, 27 Mar 2015 06:42 PM

The mother of an Army officer killed in action while searching for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in Afghanistan says a lenient plea deal or outright pardon for the accused deserter would destroy any remaining confidence she has in President Barack Obama.

Sondra Andrews, mother of 2nd Lt. Darryn Andrews, told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV on Friday that she holds out hope the president will finally come to his senses about Berghdal after hailing his release last year in a controversial prisoner swap.

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"As much as has happened, as many things that I feel were not good decisions, I still have a glimmer that he's going to make the right decisions — he just has to," said Sondra Andrews, arguing against a pardon for the sergeant who was charged on Wednesday with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.

Andrews identified her son as one of six U.S. troops who died during searches for then-Pfc. Berghdal after he disappeared from a base in Afghanistan in 2009.

She said her son, from Cameron, Texas, was killed in a rocket-propelled grenade attack by Taliban militants while searching for Bergdahl during his second tour of Afghanistan.

He was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for bravery in saving fellow soldiers.

Her son didn't mention Bergdahl by name at the time, she said. That detail surfaced later.

"He just said they were looking for a soldier that had walked off," she said.

Her son "was very frustrated" with the assignment, she said, "because it had taken all of the emphasis off of what they were doing."

The Andrews family holds a golf tournament in Cameron every spring to benefit a charitable foundation named for Darryn Andrews, a Texas Tech graduate who also earned a master's degree from Texas State University between deployments.

Mulling the idea of the president's pardoning the Army sergeant who she thinks precipitated her son's death, Andrews said, "If he were to do that, that would just be the end for me."

"I don't believe it'd only be me," she added. "Most families that have any connection with the military would feel the same way."

She dismissed as "political rhetoric" the White House's continuing to defend the choice to bring Berghdal home from captivity in exchange for five Taliban militants.

She also recalled the "disbelief" she felt last year when watching Obama use a Rose Garden ceremony with Bergdahl's parents to announce the deal.

"I just could not understand; I just couldn't," said Andrews. "There's really no words to adequately describe the way we felt — that there were so many families that had lost sons and daughters honorably, and they chose this person to highlight."

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The mother of an Army officer killed in action while searching for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in Afghanistan says a lenient plea deal or outright pardon for the accused deserter would destroy any remaining confidence she has in President Barack Obama.
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Friday, 27 Mar 2015 06:42 PM
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