Yesterday, we covered the Bowe Bergdahl "sentence" and how a judge decided Bergdahl should serve no time behind bars, at least partially because the military judge didn't like the fact that then-Candidate Trump called Bergdahl a traitor.
Six American service men and one military dog died searching for Bergdahl after he went missing. Others were injured, such as National Guard Master Sergeant Mark Allen, who now suffers from a traumatic brain injury after being shot in the head while searching for Bergdahl. He is so injured, he now lives in a wheel chair and can't even communicate with his young daughter.
Donald Trump said it best: "The decision on [Bergdahl] is a complete and total disgrace to our Country and to our Military." Right now, there are Conservatives working in Congress to try to get this sentence enhanced.
But something else just came across the wire that I just couldn't ignore. Bergdahl's defense lawyer is now filing a petition to have him awarded the Prisoner of War medal. No, that is not a joke. They want him to be declared a hero.
In the hierarchy of military medals, the Prisoner of War medal is up there as one of the most prestigious commendations the military can give a hero. It recognizes the sacrifice that a soldier made while involuntarily suffering at the hands of the enemy. The medal was authorized by an act of Congress in the 1980s and has been awarded to more than 30,000 servicemen and women. Technically, even though Bergdahl pled guilty to desertion, he still qualifies for this medal.
Unless Congress acts, he will be awarded this commendation.
Because the Prisoner of War Medal was created by an act of Congress, they still retain the ability to decide who qualifies for the medal.
The reduced sentence that Bergdahl received was shameful. The fact that this deserter gets to go free while other Americans were killed or gravely wounded searching for him is shameful. They are the real heroes and they deserve better than this.
Prisoner of War medals have been awarded to thousands of Americans. These were brave men and women who took the fight to the enemy, but ended up being captured and held prisoner.
Bergdahl was captured because he deserted his post. While searching for him, military patrols heard over the radio that locals had found an American soldier who was "trying to find the Taliban." We are talking about the same Bowe Bergdahl who praised the Taliban for being more honest than the US military and who wrote to his parents saying he was "ashamed to be an American."
He deserves nothing. He definitely doesn't deserve the Prisoner of War medal.
Over the past 6 years, we have repeatedly demanded that Congress go to bat for American servicemen who were being mistreated and unfairly prosecuted by the Obama administration. Many times, we — together — succeeded in getting Members of Congress to force the Pentagon to stand down.
But now, this is entirely within Congress' purview. You have the power to pressure the very people who can stop this from happening.
Congress created the Prisoner of War medal and only Congress can make sure that Bowe Bergdahl never receives one!
In the grand scheme of things, this is not the most pressing issue facing Americans today. Comparatively, it probably doesn't make the top 20.
But this is still important. Men died because of Bergdahl's actions. Others remain incapacitated from their wounds. They sacrificed to try to save Bergdahl, knowing full well that he deserted, hated his country, and was deliberately seeking out the enemy. They paid the ultimate sacrifice knowing that their job was to find this man and leave the matter of punishment to military justice.
Well, the military justice system failed and now Bergdahl's lawyers are demanding their client receive a hero's medal.
I refuse to just stand by and let this happen.
This must be stopped.