I was at a book signing in honor of the anniversary of my local comic book store when I got the news. I was discussing Korean War, vol. 2 with an Army veteran and admitted that the hardest story I had to write was that of David Mills, the youngest American prisoner of war from that conflict. He said, “Speaking of prisoners of war, did you hear they released Bowe Bergdahl?”
My eyes about bugged out of my head. “They did? You’re kidding. You’re not kidding?”
He smiled and said, “I just found out myself.”
“Omigoshomigoshomigosh…” I began bouncing up and down in my chair in excitement.
“I take it your related to the Bergdahls.”
“No,” I replied, “but I have met Bob and Jani.”
While I know feelings about Bowe Bergdahl’s actions in Afghanistan are very mixed and- for the time being- running excruciatingly high, I still maintain that any time a veteran returns from war alive, it’s fantastic news. Many vets I know who aren’t big fans of Bowe agreed we needed to get him away from the Taliban, figure out what happened, and if a court martial is necessary for desertion or going AWOL, give him a fair trial. The most important thing is that we don’t leave our troops behind.
I don’t blame those who served in the 1st Battalion, 501st Infantry for being angry or bitter over the losses they took in wake of Bergdahl’s disappearance. I’ve wept for them.
I also know what it’s like when friends are serving in a war zone, communication’s blacked out, and we at home fear the worst until a couple of days later, we get a phone call or message. I can only imagine how it must feel to go for nearly five years with only a few proof of life videos to show if a friend or loved one is even alive. Because of that, I’ve also wept for the Bergdahls.
However, I have little patience for those who want Bowe dead, for the bigots who are convinced that his father Bob is a traitor all because he grew a beard and can speak Arabic, and for people who post reports, rumors, or mere flimsy speculation without citing sources or doing any fact checking.
I spoke with retired Army Maj. Bob Ousley after seeing the following correspondence attributed to him circulating all over the internet.
Please be aware that the whackos are out and have begun to start the fog of war. Bob Bergdahl’s Twitter account has been hacked and there are imposters posting comments on various media that look like they are coming from Bob or Bowe Bergdahl. Please help stop the terrorist acts that are now following Bowe Bergdahl home. Get the word out that there seems to be an active campaign to destroy Bowe and his family at this critical time.
If you see a comment that looks whacky or off color or something that you can’t imagine coming from Bowe or his family take heart because they didn’t. Bowe is not communicating on any social media. There are anarchists doing rapid postings to the Million Cards for Bowe site in an attempt to damage support for bringing Bowe home to his family. Please don’t get distracted by the whack jobs. They are the lowest form of life on this earth and it will take the efforts of all who supported Bowe and his family in captivity to put these despicable people back in their slimy hole.
Please spread this as far and wide as possible. The more who understand what is happening the quicker we can out these people and stop this ugly attack.
Bob “Bulldog” Ousley, MAJ USA (RET)
While he said he was no longer sure Bob Bergdahl’s Twitter account was hacked, he verified that he did indeed send out this email. I’ve sent a message to Bob Bergdahl asking if his account was indeed hacked, and have not yet received a reply, so the best I can say regarding the alleged hacking is, “I don’t know.”
However, I am having trouble accessing One Million Cards for Bowe both on their web site and on Facebook.
And then there is this article from the Associated Press via the Spokesman-Review.
I think it’s worthwhile to fact check everything, check it twice, tone down the vitriol, admit we don’t know everything, wait for the full truth of the matter to reveal itself, avoid jumping to conclusions, and try not to make things worse for a family and community that’s already suffered for nearly five years. Is that really too much to ask?