The Army announced that Bowe Bergdahl was recently released from impatient care at Brooke Army Medical Center. He is now in an outpatient psychological treatment at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, where he will continue to get treatment for reintegration before he unites with his family. Bergdahl had been captive for five years in Afghanistan, and was released by the Taliban last month in exchange for the transfer of five Guantanamo Bay prisoners.
According to FOX 13, Bergdahl is the first junior enlisted person who has been through the reintegration program which started in 2006. The program has taken former military members a week to 10 days to complete. Bergdahl’s completion will take a little longer since now he is a patient of Joint Base San Antonio. The Army has stated that the soldier is being reintegrated to normal social conditions in a slow manner. Currently he is being exposed to more people in slow increments, in order to increase his social interactions and get adjusted to a normal life after his traumatic experience.
Bowe Berghdahl had been deployed with his battalion to Afghanistan in May 2009. He went missing in June 30 of that year. An Army investigation concluded that the Bergdahl had left his post on his own free will but has not established if he was a deserted. According to a senior Defense Official, while at the reintegration treatment as an outpatient care, Bowe Bergdhal will have a chance to tell his story, but the most important part of the process will be to take care of his health.
In July of 2009, military officials confirmed that the soldier had been captured by a Taliban clan of warlord Siraj Haqqani. In the middle of July the first video of the soldier was posted on the internet, which was followed by more videos in the years of his captivity. According to some of soldiers of his platoon, during the search for Bergdahl, as many as six soldiers died. However, the details on the operations during that time have not been released by the Pentagon. Some of Bergdahl’s comrades believed that he was a deserted and do not believe that he deserves to be called a hero. Others say that even if he was a deserted, he should not get any more punishment because they believe that being captive was punishment enough for the soldier.
In 2011, Robert Bergdahl, father of Bowe also released a YouTube video addressing the Pakistani Armed Forces and the captors of his son. He thanked them for being kind to his son, and for taking care of Bowe without harm in the years of his captivity, and he asked for his son’s safe return home. The Bergdahl family waited patiently for the release of their son. In 2013, they announced they had received a letter they believed came from the soldier.
In February 2013, according to CNN, U.S. officials started discussions with mediators overseas to see if they could have the release of the soldier. Finally, on March 31, after five years of captivity, Bergdahl was released. He was then transfer to a military hospital in Germany. According to the Army, investigations on the reasons why the soldier left his post will continue on once Bowe Bergdahl is finished with his now outpatient reintegration treatment at Joint Base San Antonio, which is their primary focus for the soldier.
By Marcia Villavicencio