#AceNewsServices – WASHINGTON – June 02 – United States Army soldiers who served in Afghanistan alongside former prisoner of war Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl are speaking up to condemn their one-time colleague and those who are labelling him a hero following his release from Taliban custody this week.
Staff Sergeant Clayton Bowen, 29, (L) and Private First Class Morris Walker, 23 (image by US Army)
Staff Sergeant Kurt Curtiss, (L) and Staff Sergeant Michael Murphrey, 25 (image by US Army)
Second Lieutenant Darryn Andrews, 34, (L) and Private First Class Matthew Michael Martinek, 20 (image by US Army)
“On August 18, an IED killed Private First Class Morris Walker and Staff Sergeant Clayton Bowen during a reconnaissance mission. On August 26, while conducting a search for a Taliban shadow sub-governor supposedly affiliated with Bergdahl’s captors,Staff Sergeant Kurt Curtiss was shot in the face and killed.
On September 4, during a patrol to a village near the area in which Bergdahl vanished, an insurgent ambush killed Second Lieutenant Darryn Andrews and gravely wounded Private First Class Matthew Martinek, who died of his wounds a week later.
On September 5, while conducting a foot movement toward a village also thought affiliated with Bergdahl’s captors,Staff Sergeant Michael Murphrey stepped on an improvised land mine.
He died the next day.”
Republican lawmakers were quick to pounce on the White House over a recent under-the-table arrangement that relinquished five Guantanamo Bay detainees in exchange for Bergdahl, a 28-year-old soldier caught by the Taliban in 2009.
Others are now voicing their outrage too, including many soldiers who say that Bergdahl willingly deserted the US Army five years ago and indirectly caused the deaths of a half-dozen American troops as a result.
One of the more vocal critics of the just released soldier is Nathan Bradley Bethea, who told The Daily Beastthis week that he served in same battalion as Bethea at the time he went missing in June 2009.
For the last five years, Bethea wrote, the Army has ordered that the circumstances surrounding Bergdahl’s disappearance be kept quiet.
Upon his release on Saturday in exchange for five Gitmo detainees, however, Bethea told the Beast that “now it is time to speak the truth.’’
“Bergdahl was a deserter,” he wrote in an op-ed published on Monday, “and soldiers from his own unit died trying to track him down.”
According to Bethea, Bergdahl did not “lag behind on a patrol” as cited in news reports five years ago. Instead, he wrote, Bergdahl stayed awake one night and then fled their outpost in the city of Sharana on foot.
“He deserted,” Bethea insists. “I have talked to members of Bergdahl’s platoon — including the last Americans to see him before his capture. I have reviewed the relevant documents. That’s what happened.”
What also occurred, Bethea wrote in the op-ed, is that American lives were lost in the days following Bergdah’s disappearance as US soldiers searched through war-zones heavily concentrated with insurgents, and military resources were diverted towards finding the missing troop, and not the enemy,
“Our battalion suffered six fatalities in a three-week period” following Bergdahl’s alleged walk-off, Bethea wrote.
He continued: ……………
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