Dishonorable discharge sentence approved for desertion of Army sergeant Bowe Bergdahl

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - In 2017, a sentence was handed down to Bowe Bergdahl, a then-sergeant in the US Army who deserted his post while stationed in Afghanistan.

Tuesday, that desertion sentence, which includes a dishonorable discharge and other punishments, but no jail time, was approved by Army command.

Bergdahl pleaded guilty last fall to the desertion and 'misbehavior' charges, after being returned to America following five years of Taliban capture.

He left his post in Afghanistan in 2009, an act which reportedly compromised his unit and triggered a search for him that wounded some of his comrades.

At hearings following his return, Bergdahl apologized to those who searched for him, choking up at times. He added, following the apology, "My words can't take away what the people have been through."

However, many of the wounded took the apology at face value, and disagreed with the lack of jail time involved in the sentence.

Jonathan Morita, a soldier from California, was injured by a rocket-propelled grenade that didn't explode during the search for Bergdahl. He reportedly still lacks full use of his dominant hand.

At sentencing, Morita said the lack of prison time was "completely unacceptable," adding, "It should have maybe not been the life sentence, but it should have been something."

U.S. Army General Robert B. "Abe" Abrams reviewed and approved the sentence, WRAL reported Tuesday.

As part of that sentence, Bergdahl will be dishonorably discharged, have a reduction in rank from sergeant to private, and be ordered to pay a $10,000 fine. The prosecutors in the case were seeking a prison sentence of more than 10 years.

[READ MORE: UPDATE: Sen. Graham disappointed in Bergdahl sentence]



 
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