Controversy surrounding American P.O.W’s release

FILE - This undated image provided by the U.S. Army shows Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. U.S. officials say the only American soldier held prisoner in Afghanistan has been freed and is in U.S. custody. The officials say Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's (boh BURG'-dahl) release was part of a negotiation that includes the release of five Afghan detainees held in the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (AP Photo/U.S. Army)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The only American prisoner of war in the Afghan War is a free man, but his regained freedom comes with controversy.

Six American solders died searching for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. Now five years later, the U.S. Army got one of its own back in exchange for five Guantanamo prisoners.

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has been freed after five years of captivity in Afghanistan. A joyous moment for family and friends, but some people aren’t celebrating just yet.

Many unanswered questions remain surrounding Bergdahl’s disappearance and release. Some accuse him of being a deserter, saying he walked away from the base voluntarily. Some say he’s a hero because he was captured. And many want to know if there will be consequences from negotiating with the Taliban.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney promises any threat to national security has been “mitigated.”

Western Massachusetts veterans told 22News without further details on the negotiation, they can’t come to any conclusions about the prisoner swap.

“They voted these politicians in to their current position to make this type of decision. So they need to allow them to do their job,” Veteran David Failey said.

However, they said one thing is clear. Five years spent as a P.O.W will leave a lasting impact on Bergdahl.

Gumersindo Gomez, Executive Director of Bilingual Veteran Service Center, told 22News, “He comes to us with a bunch of PTSD. Those monsters will be there the rest of his life. Just like they are for myself, as a combat veteran, my PTSD, it never goes away. We learn to live with it.”

Bergdahl’s hometown in Idaho has prepared a homecoming celebration, but it’s not clear yet when he’ll leave the American hospital in Germany.

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