To the Editor:
As an American and a veteran, I’m appalled by the Bergdahl verdict. Did he voluntarily desert?
Yes, and he even pleaded guilty. Did he desert during armed conflict and/or war? Yes.
Those two violations deserve punishment on their own. On top of that, did other service members give their lives, safety or get maimed looking for him? Yes.
Were valuable assets expended looking for him? Yes. Did we trade five high-value enemies for him? Yes.
The defense, as extenuating circumstances claimed, his years as an enemy prisoner may be of some consideration. They also used his years in confinement. Yes.
They claim he gave us info on the enemy. But did he also give the info on us to the enemy?
Bottom line, Bergdahl deserves extensive prison time. The precedence set by this decision will be used in other cases in the future.
Moreover, this verdict erodes discipline, spirit and respect.
Fault. There is plenty to go around. There is fault with the recruiters, his direct officers and non-coms and now the judge who should be demoted and dismissed from service for this.
Justice is not being served. Decency and respect are being trashed.
This is not right or just. This is an insult to all those who served with loyalty and honor.
Mark Turk, Joliet