News

Bowe Bergdahl back on U.S. soil

Bowe Bergdahl back on U.S. soil

BOWE BERGDAHL:Bergdahl was handed over to U.S. forces in Afghanistan on May 31 in exchange for five Taliban leaders held at Guantanamo prison in Cuba. Bergdahl's initial release sparked a wave of support that was quickly overshadowed by political uproar over the freeing of the senior Taliban members. Photo: Reuters

By David Alexander

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who spent five years as a Taliban prisoner of war before being released on May 31, has arrived at an Army medical center in Texas where he will receive further treatment, the Pentagon said on Friday.

Rear Admiral John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, said Bergdahl left Ramstein Air Base in Germany aboard a military plane on Thursday afternoon and arrived early on Friday in San Antonio, where he will be cared for at the Brooke Army Medical Center.

“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,” Kirby said.

Bergdahl was handed over to U.S. forces in Afghanistan on May 31 in exchange for five Taliban leaders held at Guantanamo prison in Cuba. Bergdahl’s initial release sparked a wave of support that was quickly overshadowed by political uproar over the freeing of the senior Taliban members.

Lawmakers criticized the Obama administration for failing to give them 30 days’ notice before transferring prisoners from Guantanamo as required by law. Some charged that in doing the exchange, the administration had effectively violated its policy against negotiating with terrorists.

Some of Bergdahl’s former comrades in Afghanistan also voiced anger, alleging that he had deserted when he walked away from his outpost in circumstances that are unclear and was later captured.

Kirby said Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel had expressed confidence the Army will continue to ensure Bergdahl “receives the care, time and space he needs to complete his recovery and reintegration”.

The hospital facility, formally known as the San Antonio Military Medical Center and located at Fort Sam Houston, has teams of specialists and has been helping returning prisoners of war for decades.

Bergdahl’s parents, Bob and Jani Bergdahl, were expected to travel to Texas from their Idaho home, although it was not immediately clear when, or whether they had spoken with Bowe.

(Reporting by David Alexander in Washington; Writing by Eric M. Johnson; Editing by Catherine Evans)

Recent Headlines

11 mins ago in Viral Videos

WATCH: Bern Your Enthusiasm

Fresh
22-overlay-4

Despite his friends' best efforts, Sen. Bernie Sanders (Larry David) keeps finding ways to upset voters in Iowa.

11 mins ago in Music

David Bowie’s widow Iman breaks silence

Fresh
bowieliveaid

The couple was married for almost 24 years and the rocker left more than $100 million to his wife in his will.

17 mins ago in Entertainment

‘Kung Fu Panda 3’ trumps ‘Hail, Caesar!’

Fresh
12-overlay-5

Hollywood fumbled the ball during a quiet Super Bowl weekend at the multiplexes as new releases such as “Hail, Caesar!” and “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” failed to make much noise.

47 mins ago in Sports, Trending, Viral Videos

TODAY’S MUST SEE: Super Bowl 50 commercials

Fresh
14-overlay-1

A 30-second commercial spot on Super Sunday can cost up to $5 million. Which Super Sunday ad was your favorite?

5 hours ago in Entertainment

Today in entertainment history: Feb. 8

carlysimon

A look back on some of Hollywoods memorable milestones.