A former medic in Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s platoon fired back Sunday at Obama administration claims that he and other Afghanistan veterans are exaggerating the seriousness of Bergdahl’s disappearance from his post in 2009.
“Every single mission that we did was focused on finding Bergdahl,” Joshua Cornelison told Fox News Sunday’s Chris Wallace. “Maybe not every single mission was kicking down a door because we had intel that Bergdahl was there. But we were finding people. We were either finding locals who had said they had information about where Bowe Bergdahl was, or maybe we were just going trying to talk with locals to see if they had information about Bergdahl. But every single mission after Bowe Bergdahl left was tilted toward finding Bowe Bergdahl, every single one.”
Cornelison, who was among the troops required to sign a non-disclosure agreement about the events following Bergdahl’s decision to abandon an operating base in Paktika province, was appearing with Ken Luccioni and Cheryl Brandes, the stepfather and mother of Pfc. Matthew Martinek. Martinek was killed in action during theater-wide efforts to locate Bergdahl, who ended up in Taliban custody and was released last month in exchange for five Taliban detainees from Guantanamo. Obama administration officials have accused soldiers from Bergdahl’s unit of blaming him for the deaths of at least six U.S. service members in the aftermath of his unexplained disappearance.
“I don’t know what certain people want to hear,” Cornelison said. “I was there. Everybody else that we’ve been talking with — there have been six of us primarily — we were there. This isn’t some story we’re making up. We were there for the night Bergdahl left, we were there for the morning when we realized he wasn’t there. We were there for the following 90 days of absolute agony that Bergdahl put us through. This isn’t second- or third-hand reports or accounts. We were there running missions every single day to try and find Bowe Bergdahl.