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For fallen soldiers' families, Bergdahl release stirs resentment

Wednesday, June 04, 2014 - 02:17

June 4 - A number of U.S. military families say their sons died in Afghanistan during a massive manhunt for the then-missing Bowe Bergdahl. Mana Rabiee reports.

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Sandra Andrews keep her son's dog tags close to her heart. SOUNDBITE: SANDRA ANDREWS, MOTHER, SAYING: "I always wear them, everyday." The Texas mom had thought 2nd Lt. Darryn Andrews died in Afghanistan in 2009 searching for the Taliban. But on Sunday, she got word from his comrades he died during a manhunt for then-missing Army Sargeant Bowe Bergdahl. SOUNDBITE: SANDRA ANDREWS, MOTHER, SAYING: "He's looking for a traitor. He's looking for a deserter." Bergdahl's dramatic release on Saturday came after nearly five years of Taliban captivity. He was reported missing from his post in June 2009. Taliban insurgents radio-ed that an American soldier with a camera was looking for someone who speaks English, according to U.S. diplomatic cables. Some of his comrades now say he became disillusioned with the war and simply walked away. Now, a number of families have come out to say they believe their sons were among at least six servicemen reported killed in the hunt for Bergdahl. That's according to accounts from his comrades. SOUNDBITE: KEN BLACK, FATHER IN LAW OF U.S. FALLEN SOLDIER, SAYING: "There's not a day that goes by that we don't think of Kurt." Among the six men: Ken Black's son-in-law, Kurt Curtiss, who served in Bergdahl's unit. Black had thought Curtiss died searching for a high-ranking Al Qaeda official at a medical facility. SOUNDBITE: KEN BLACK, FATHER-IN-LAW OF FALLEN SOLDIER, SAYING: "That's when he was shot immediately upon opening the door." Now, news of Bergdahl's release is opening up old wounds. SOUNDBITE: KEN BLACK, FATHER-IN-LAW OF FALLEN SOLDIER, SAYING: "The hardest thing I had to do in life was to forgive the person that shot my son-in-law. If the truth comes out that that's what caused my son-in-law to be killed, I would hope that I would do the same thing," But forgiveness doesn't come easy to everyone. Andrews wants Bergdahl treated as a deserter during time of war. SOUNDBITE: SANDRA ANDREWS, MOTHER, SAYING: "I believe that punishment is death by firing squad." U.S. officials have declined to confirm these accounts from Bergdahl's former comrades. Military officials indicate he's unlikely to face charges, whatever the army finds about his capture. Bergdahl, they say, has suffered enough. But others want the freed soldier held accountable.

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For fallen soldiers' families, Bergdahl release stirs resentment

Wednesday, June 04, 2014 - 02:17