Gerald Sutton, former army specialist
Former Army specialist Gerald Sutton, a former platoon-mate of Bergdahl’s, believes Bergdahl should face the consequences of his actions, including a court-martial.
Sutton told Fox News that although he does not know what Bergdahl’s motivations were, he thinks the desertion was “premeditated.”
“I just don’t want to see him hailed as a hero,” Sutton said.Matt Vierkant, former sergeant
One of Bergdahl’s former platoon-mates thinks the swap of five Taliban officials for Bergdahl doesn’t make any sense. “I don’t understand why we’re trading prisoners at Gitmo for somebody who deserted during a time of war, which is an act of treason,” former Army sergeant Matt Vierkant told CNN’s Jake Tapper.
“I was pissed off then, and I am even more so now with everything going on,” he continued. “Bowe Bergdahl deserted during a time of war, and his fellow Americans lost their lives searching for him.”
An anonymous platoon-mate remarked that the resentment toward Bergdahl for walking off was unmatched. “The amount of animosity is nothing like you’ve ever seen before,” the soldier told CNN.
The solider recalled the “unbelievable” efforts the military made to rescue Bergdahl when he first disappeared, including one instance where platoons ran out of water, food, and ammunition while on the mission. “All because of the selfish act of one person,” the soldier said.
Family of Members Lost Searching for Bergdahl:
Sondra and Andy Andrews
The parents of Second Lieutenant Darryn Andrews were initially told their son died on a mission searching for a Taliban commander, only to learn recently that he was killed on a mission tasked with finding Bergdahl. Andy Andrews called the situation a “cover-up.”
Prior to Andrews’s death, his parents recalled him telling them about his platoon-mate’s disappearance.“He said [Bergdahl] just walked off — he wasn’t captured on a battlefield or anything, he just walked off the base and left everything behind except a compass and a bottle of water,” Andy told Fox News.
Both parents hoped that Bergdahl would be tried before a court.
“He left his men during a war, so that is even more critical than just leaving their base,” Sondra said. “He left them without adequate men, he created a vulnerability there for them because they had to look for him, and the Taliban knew that the Americans would look for their men.”
While she does not blame Bergdahl directly for the death of her husband, Staff Sergeant Kurt Curtiss, Elizabeth Ivory did take issue with the praise the former captive has received.
“I’m more than happy that he is no longer a prisoner of war,” she told NBC. “But I’m not okay with people wanting to call him a hero.”
— Andrew Johnson is an editorial associate at National Review Online. Molly Wharton is an intern at National Review.