With Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl not receiving any jail time, being reduced to the rank of private, and receiving a dishonorable discharge after pleading guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, many are seeing his punishment as very light.
Bergdahl’s lawyer, however, wants him to receive medals for his time as a captive and for the injuries he suffered from his captors. Civilian lawyer Eugene Fidell also wants his dishonorable discharge to be overturned, according to USA Today.
“We have long felt he was entitled to the POW medal,” he said.
The Prisoner of War medal is given to any service member who, “while serving in any capacity with the U.S. Armed Forces, was taken prisoner and held captive after April 5, 1917.”
During his pre-trial hearing last year, Bergdahl’s defense team made it clear they believed he should receive the POW medal and the Purple Heart. Military.comreported that Army Lt. Col. Franklin Rosenblatt said Bergdahl was entitled to the awards, and not giving them to him could produce bias from potential jurors.
“We believe this is a prejudice and casts a semblance of guilt,” he said. “We encourage the government to correct that.”
Veterans have felt not giving Bergdahl any jail time is a massive failure of the justice system and have reacted with anger and bewilderment.