It was no joke when a military judge in North Carolina ruled last week that deserter Bowe Bergdahl should serve no time in prison for the crime of endangering his comrades in Afghanistan by walking off his post. Neither was Bergdahl’s attorney joking when he said his client should receive the Prisoner of War medal.
Now comes the biggest travesty of all: According to Fox News, the Army has to decide whether Bergdahl is owed back pay and other benefits amassed during the time of his captivity by the Taliban. The amount they are considering? As much as $300,000!
From the report:
Captive soldiers normally receive special compensation worth around $150,000 in addition to hostile-fire pay and their basic pay they accumulated during the captivity. But determining whether Bergdahl should receive the back pay is not as clear-cut.
The State Department marked Bergdahl in as “Missing-Captured” several days after he was captured and the terror group released a video featuring him alive, Military.com reported in 2014.
But Bergdahl pleaded guilty to desertion in court, complicating whether the army will consider him as a prisoner of war and thus entitled to back pay and compensation.“My understanding is there has to be an administrative determination of his duty status at each point, from the time he was captured until now,” an army official told the Army Times. “In order to figure out what he’s owed, you’re basically going to have to start from that point of captivity.”
Six American soldiers died while searching for Bergdahl after he went missing. Their survivors have a burden enough to deal with without having to accept that the man indirectly responsible for the death of their loved one will not only walk free but as a rich man.