After five years in Taliban captivity, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the last remaining American P.O.W. in Afghanistan, is back in the United States, the Pentagon confirmed Friday.
“Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has arrived at the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio,” Pentagon spokesperson Rear Adm. John Kirby said in a statement. “While there, he will continue the next phase of his reintegration process. There is no timeline for this process. Our focus remains on his health and well-being. Secretary Hagel is confident that the Army will continue to ensure that Sgt. Bergdahl receives the care, time and space he needs to complete his recovery and reintegration.”
Bergdahl, a 28-year-old Idaho native, was captured in June 2009 after vanishing from the base where he was stationed in Afghanistan. He was released by the Taliban on May 31 in exchange for five Taliban prisoners released from captivity at the Guantanamo Bay military prison. The Obama administration drew criticism over the deal from some quarters, but insisted it had to act quickly to secure Bergdahl’s release due to his deteriorating health.
A pair of letters purportedly written by Bergdahl to his family while he was held captive and made public Friday may offer some explanation as to why he left his post. In the letters, obtained by The Daily Beast, Bergdahl supposedly asks that his family “tell those involved in the investigation into his disappearance that there are more sides to the cittuation (sic).”
The letters, here quoted with the author's spelling and grammar, describe “Unexceptable conditions fror the men working and risking life every moment outside the wire” and lament that “clear minded understanding from leadership was lacking, if not non-exictent.”
“Please tell d.C. to wiat for all evadince to come in,” the letter says.
Handwriting in the two documents, written in 2012 and 2013, does not match and they are riddled with spelling errors. According to the Beast, Bergdahl’s family told officials they believe the letters to be genuine.
“Following Sgt. Bergdahl's reintegration, the Army will continue its comprehensive review into the circumstances of his disappearance and captivity,” the Army said in a statement Friday.
After his release, Bergdahl was transported to a military facility in Germany, where officials determined that he is emotionally unstable after reportedly suffering harsh treatment at the hands of the Taliban. He reportedly refused to speak with his family after his release.