Here is the scenario….
Mom: How did my favorite lamp get broken? What did you and your friend do?
Kid: Mom, mom, here is what happened. Me and Jimmy were playing the xBox and then I noticed kitty was starting to get sick. Since you asked me to keep an eye on kitty I was doing that.
So I looked over and saw she was about to throw up on your favorite chair. I know you would be so mad if she did that so I jumped up with lightning speed and I know the fastest way to get there in order to save your chair would be to jump over the back of the couch. Even though I knew Jimmy would beat me in the game I knew I had to save your chair. So I jumped over the back of the couch, and somehow my foot caught on the cord to the lamp. I saw the lamp falling but didn’t think out would break plus I saw kitty was about to throw up and I knew I had to get her. So I dove at her, risking myself getting hurt and was able to grab her and take her outside so she didn’t throw up on your chair.
Mom: So when did the lamp actually hit the floor?
Son: Not sure mom, I was so focused on your chair and kitty not messing it up I didn’t hear it. Maybe Jimmy did, Jimmy?
Jimmy: Uhh, I didn’t uhh, notice. He really did try Ms. Mom. Uhh, but I got to go home now so I will see you later. Thanks for inviting me over.
Mom: Well I just looked outside and I don’t see any cat puke.
Son: Oh, uhh, well yeah I cleaned that up too, because I know you don’t like to see that stuff. I do what I can to help you out mom
That is a plausible and probably very common scenario and has been for years, in households across the country if not around the world. Almost any parent in this scenario would roll their eyes and call BS on the son’s story. It holds all the characteristics of a lie; yes I did it, but I did it to help you out and protect your interests, I put myself at risk in doing this for “you”, and no evidence to support it or a valid trustworthy witness.
A young confused man, raised and home-schooled in the back-woods of Idaho by a pair of unconventional parents. A kid who did ballet and fencing as I noted in a blog post (http://bouhammer.com/2009/07/missing-soldier-update-with-video-of-pfc-bowe-bergdahl/) on July 20th, 2009….
We now know he was home-schooled, and was very active in the ballet and in fencing. Not exactly the type of person that wants to excel and be part of a high-speed Airborne Infantry Unit, if you ask me. Could it be his fellow soldiers knew of his past and harassed him? Could they have made him feel like an outsider? Who knows, and really it does not matter as what he did (if desertion as PJ implies) is inexcusable. I am confident that as the past comes to light we will see this soldier demonstrated behavior that would be considered outside the norm.
“Outside the norm” has come to light for sure. When I wrote the blog post in July 2009, I was quickly attacked by several in the LGBT community who twisted my words to try and say that I was claiming he was gay and that is why he was “outside the norm” and that was why he deserted. I am still never sure where they made up that info in their heads, but it really didn’t matter at the end of the day. I was also in contact with the family back in 2009 through a intermediary and was getting info from them that was supporting my statements and some that corrected things as per the family. You can check out http://bouhammer.com/?s=bergdahl and see all the posts where I talked about this soldier from the moment he went AWOL.
The scenario I made up at the start of this is pretty much the Bergdahl story as told on the first episode of season two of Serial, the podcast (https://serialpodcast.org/season-two/1/dustwun). Apparently the story he told Mark Boal over a series of phone calls. He has had plenty of time to think of the story he told of a young, very inexperienced (one year in the Army) PFC who knew more about the US Army and its operations in Afghanistan then all the senior leaders over him, of which most had multiple combat tours. A soldier who saw himself as a modern-day, real-world Jason Bourne (yes he really said that). A soldier who realized the mistake the second he got outside the wire and thought he could make it better and maybe not get punished as bad as he thought would happen by spying on and capturing taliban emplacing IEDs. His grandiose plan was do to this while walking over some very hard terrain for 18 miles (as the camel walks) without being seen and only with a knife, some water and a notepad.
The pics below show some of the exact terrain he was going to walk. I was in this same area in 2006-2007.
As you can tell from the pics above, there was no way he was going to do this and be successful. But then again, running 18 miles across indian country at night through unknown minefields, IEDs, and who knows what else so he could create a DUSTWUN (Duty Status-Whereabouts Unknown) and get some “attention” so people would listen to him “maybe even a General”. Then he could tell them how his upbringing in Idaho being home-schooled and one year in the Army has given him the ability to identify real problems in the Army and how to fix them.
I have had soldiers like him in my many years as a leader, to include seven years as a 1SG and Rear-D Squadron CSM, but thankfully none of those “experts” were retarded enough to demonstrate how much smarter and knowledgeable they though they were than their entire chain of command. However I guess (if you believe his made-up story) Bergdahl got what he wanted. He was able to get the attention of a lot of people, to include one of the last Soldier’s soldier, FORSCOM Commander, GEN Robert Abrams (disclaimer- a good friend of mine and past wartime company commander) who just referred Bergdahl’s case to a General Court Martial which could net this misguided soul a lifetime in Leavenworth (http://www.armytimes.com/story/military/2015/12/14/sgt-bowe-bergdahl-face-court-martial-desertion-charge/77300686/).