by Kyle Nelson
In 2009, Private Bowe Bergdahl walked off his military base in Afghanistan. After deserting his post, Bergdahl was captured by the Afghan Taliban near the Pakistan border. Bergdahl was released in March 2015, five years after being captured by the Taliban, in a controversial exchange for five Taliban officials being held at Guantanamo Bay, according to BBC.com.
The story emerged back into the headlines of local newspapers as Bergdahl began to stand trial for treason. The story is very controversial, as millions of Americans are torn between believing he should be sentenced to life in prison or be allowed to walk as a free man. Some Americans believe after being held captive for so long he should not be convicted, while others believe he’s a traitor to the United States of America.
Even the President of the United States feels very strongly about this, as President Donald Trump branded him as a traitor who should be executed. Multiple North Attleboro students believe the same thing.
“Whether he was held captive or not, he abandoned his duties and the oath he took,” said senior Rory Quinlan. “He is a traitor.”
Across Twitter, many are furious with the time the military took searching for Bergdahl. Tweets cry out about the loss of some soldiers’ lives while searching for Bergdahl.
ThePatriot143 tweeted, “Really? The U.S. Army is considering giving deserter Bowe Bergdahl $300,000 in back-pay & condolence money for his time spent in Taliban captivity. Share if you think the money should go to the families of the six men who died looking for him instead.”
However, many others defend Bergdahl, saying there is no hard evidence showing he was attempting to leave the military forever.
“There is so much evidence showing he could have just been doing one of his routine sweeps,” said junior Morgan Silver. “Bergdahl was in and out of his post all the time.”
According to BBC.com, Bergdahl had left military areas before, during a training program in California and an Afghan outpost, but returned each time.
As the trial dates neared, the support for Bergdahl and his family continued throughout the nation and his hometown. Yellow balloons filled the streets of Hailey, Idaho, Bergdahl’s hometown, according to BBC.com.
Some NAHS students still don’t think there was enough information to even start a case.
“I really wish I could find out the entire truth to the story,” said junior Evan Rosenberg. “I don’t want him to be a traitor. No one should have to be called that if it isn’t true.”
Following his disappearance, the military launched a search for Bergdahl that lasted until his release in 2015.
As this unusual event occurs, Americans across the county continue to discuss how this desertion trial may affect other trials in the future.