News / USA

Bowe Bergdhal Returns Home

In this image from video people are greeted on arrival at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio Texas early Friday morning June 13, 2014.
In this image from video people are greeted on arrival at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio Texas early Friday morning June 13, 2014.
VOA News
The U.S. Army sergeant held by the Taliban in Afghanistan for nearly five years has returned to the United States.

U.S. military officials say Bowe Bergdahl, who has been treated at a military hospital in Germany, arrived early Friday at an Army medical center in the southwestern city of San Antonio, Texas.

A Pentagon statement said Bergdahl will receive the "care, time and space he needs to complete his recovery."

The statement said the Army will continue its comprehensive review of the circumstances of Bergdahl's disappearance and captivity.

The 28-year-old Bergdahl won his freedom two weeks ago when U.S. President Barack Obama agreed to a prisoner swap, releasing five suspected Taliban terrorists from the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and sending them to Qatar, which agreed to keep them for a year.

Following initial euphoria in the United States over Bergdahl's release, his case has generated an intense national debate.  Some U.S. lawmakers have criticized Obama for releasing Taliban officials they believe will eventually seek to harm the U.S. in some way, while others have criticized the president for ignoring the U.S. law requiring that Congress be given a 30-day notice when Guantanamo prisoners are going to be freed.

U.S. military officials say Bergdahl walked away from his Afghan post in 2009.  Some of his one-time military colleagues say he willingly deserted his unit.  In emails sent to his parents shortly before he disappeared, Bergdahl voiced disdain for some of his Army commanders in profane terms and said he had become disillusioned with the U.S. mission there.

He has yet to be reunited with his family, but that could take place at the Texas medical center.

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