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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

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The news flash that came over the radio today regarding the deserter Bowe Bergdahl was most disheartening to say the least. That a military tribunal determined that he would serve no prison term sends absolutely the wrong message to the men and women of our military.

Bergdahl deserted his post in a combat zone. He put his comrades at severe risk. Those sent out to look for him, although they knew he was a deserter, are true heroes, especially those who were wounded in the hunt.

Barack Obama contributed to this outrage when he let loose five murderous terrorists in exchange for a deserter. There was a time when those who deserted in a combat zone were shot.

I don’t advocate that he be executed. But I do believe that the right message that should have been sent is that there are serious consequences for improper actions. The argument that he spent five years in Taliban captivity does not mitigate the seriousness of his offense. He was reduced in rank, lost “some pay” and received a dishonorable discharge.

That was hardly a heavy price to pay for what he did. If not life in prison, Bowe Bergdahl should have been sentenced to federal prison for a significant term. As a member of the military I was sent to California to bring back to Fort Dix a soldier who had gone AWOL, an offense far less serious than desertion in combat. That was peacetime and he spent time in the stockade. What a difference time makes.

Bob Nesoff

New Milford