The move by the Obama administration to bring Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl back to the United States at a potential cost has Americans talking. Details continue to emerge by the hour on Bergdahl's past service in the Army, with some saying he deserted his post in Afghanistan while others say he may have been relieved of his duty. The move has local residents torn.
"I mean, he's (President Barack Obama) the commander-in-chief, and he has to do what he has to do,” said Charles Turowski, Jr., of Erie. “I'd probably do the same thing."
"I think it's wonderful we've got our guy back, but I think that what we did to do that undermines the purpose of what we're doing over there," said Robert Widing, also of Erie.
After leaving his post, Bergdahl was then taken captive by Taliban forces and held prisoner for five years. To bring Bergdahl home, President Obama released five members of the Taliban who were held at Guantanamo Bay. Some of them were high-ranking. Six American service members died during the initial year-long search for Bergdahl.
WICU/WSEE posted the question to our Facebook page, “Did the Obama administration make the right move,” and viewers kept the comments coming all day throughout Tuesday.
"Support our troops, period,” writes Del Rounds. “He's still a soldier and until we have some certainty that he deserted, we must treat him as such. Charges can be forthcoming, if appropriate.”
"We don't make deals with terrorists. Bad move. He wanted to renounce America. Should have kept the five Taliban where they were,” writes Julie Jewels.
While the move brings Bergdahl home, it also allows the Taliban fighters to rejoin their group, something that doesn't sit well with those in Washington.
"Thirty percent of those have left Guantanamo have already reentered the fight. This is the hardest and toughest of all. These are wanted war criminals,” said Sen. John McCain. (R-Ariz.)
Bergdahl remains in the Landstuhl Medical Hospital in Germany tonight.