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Journal Daniel Dvorkin's Journal: These are the things in my head at night 7

Then-PFC, now-SGT Bergdahl may in fact have deserted his post. There are certainly credible accusations to that effect, and if so, then he should be tried and convicted for the crime. But it's a whole lot easier to investigate those charges with him here, and we don't let the Taliban mete out justice for us.

The military idea of "taking care of your own" has a lot of different aspects. Holding the line and leaving no one behind are obvious; less obvious, perhaps, is that our people are ours. Loon or no, deserter or no, even traitor or no, whatever else Bowe Bergdahl may be he is someone who raised his right hand and took the oath, and that means that whatever reward or punishment he receives is ours and ours alone to give.

It astonishes me sometimes, having at this point been out of the service several more years than I was in it, how strong and pure those ideas still are in my head: how much "us" the profession of arms still is to me, and I suppose always will be. I'm a civilian and happy to be one now, but both the infantryman and the medic are still very close to the surface. The latter is concerned mainly with bringing back the wounded--and the former is ready, willing, and perhaps even eager to kill anyone who stands in the way of that mission.

Whatever else we did, whatever else we may do, we had to bring him home.

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These are the things in my head at night

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  • Mow there are some saying "you brought him home, what about the tourists that got captured?" Well DUH, they were idiots for visiting a war zone. In the military you don't have the luxury of choice, you go where they send you. I certainly didn't want to be in Delaware, especially since there was nothing there and the climate played hell with my arthritis (which seldom bothers me now that I'm old and not in Delaware).

    And as you said, if he was AWOL the army will take care of the matter.

    • Were you at Dover? I've always heard that's kind of the East Coast's equivalent of Minot. [1/2 g]

      • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

        Yep, for a little over two years. Hated it, except when I got to "fly" a C5-A simulator and walk around inside the computer that ran it. I've never seen so many printed circuit boards in one place before or since. But that lasted maybe an hour :(

        • Heh. Yeah.

          I was at Minot for five years, which seemed particularly like exile after having been in England, about an hour away from London, for two years before that. I will say that it wasn't quite as bad as I expected it to be when I got my orders.

  • Though I don't know that anyone I've talked to has suggested we shouldn't have gotten him back. The discussion I've seen was over whether or not what we gave up made sense.

    I keep seeing it framed as "either you were for him being returned or you wanted to let him rot" and I don't think that's accurate.

    I'm totally with you though - we didn't want to just leave him there regardless. It's just like when guys from my boat took off. They would get them back and then punish them and then separate

    • They would get them back and then punish them and then separate them.

      Exactly. If that's what he deserves, then truth will out.

      And I have seen an awful lot of people saying that he wasn't worth any particular effort to get back, which is pretty close to "let him rot." That's just mind-boggling to me.

      • Yeah - I agree with that.

        From my perspective the whole discussion, in terms of my American friends, has completely devolved into the typical political argument. If it had been a Republican president had done it they points wouldn't change it all, it would just be the opposite groups using them.

Don't get suckered in by the comments -- they can be terribly misleading. Debug only code. -- Dave Storer