EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


June 11, 2014

Letter: Bowe Bergdahl is one of us, an American

To the editor:

I’m disgusted by the attacks on Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl and by the many people who say that he should’ve been left to his fate with the Taliban.

Our enemy straps bombs to their young men and sends them to blow themselves up. Our nation and society is different. We commit ourselves to bring all of our service men and women home.

We also presume that people accused of a crime are innocent until they are convicted in a court of law. We don’t try people in absentia. We give the accused a chance to defend themselves and to tell their side of the story.

It seems that Sgt. Bergdahl walked off his base, but we don’t know if he intended to return. However, there have been reports that he did things like that in the past and did indeed return.

Yet he’s been called a deserter, a coward and even a traitor. Claims have been made, without any evidence to support them, that he intended to go over to the enemy.

However, in spite of his disillusionment with our war, he didn’t take part in any anti-American videos for his captors and didn’t take up arms against our troops or our Afghan allies.

It pains me greatly to picture him over in Germany, recovering from nearly five years of captivity, isolation and torture, reading and seeing all the terrible things that so many of his fellow Americans are saying about him, the vast majority of them men and women who, like me, chose not to ever put on the uniform and risk their lives like he did.

If there’s good evidence that he committed crimes, change him. If he truly deserted, send him to the military prison at Leavenworth. But let’s wait until he’s charged, let’s wait until his trial, let’s wait until he’s convicted before we vilify him.

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