Military says Bergdahl in 'stable' condition in Germany

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) -- The newspaper Stars and Stripes is reporting that as of late Monday afternoon freed Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl of Hailey, Idaho had not reached the stage of his reintegration program in which he's ready to speak to his family.

Bergdahl arrived at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany around 9 a.m. Sunday morning, a day after the Taliban released him in exchange for five Guantnamo Bay detainees.

Bergdahl is in stable condition, but needs hospitalization for both physical and psychological issues stemming from nearly five years of captivity, a Pentagon spokesman said Monday.

And at Sunday's Gowen Field press conference in Boise, Bob Bergdahl, Bowe's father, indicated his son might even be struggling to speak English.

"I hope your English is coming back," Bob Bergdahl said, directing his comment to his son through the media, " and I want you to know that I love you."

Is it possible for a person to be held captive in such a way that they lose touch with that most basic thing -- their native language?"

Yes -- say officials at Fort Sam Houston in Texas where Bergdahl is expected to continue his reintegration in the United States.

"If English hasn't been heard in several years there may be a requirement for some time just to transition back to English as the primary language," said Col. Hans Bush, a U.S. Army spokesman at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio.

Former CIA covert operations officer Mike Baker says Bergdahl's ordeal was made even more challenging because he was held for years in isolation with no one to trust.

"The creed is no one gets left behind," said Baker, who now lives in Boise. "But that's little comfort after two or three years in captivity. Not knowing what's going on, not having access to news or information, it's an incredibly difficult situation."

"He's got some nutrition problems, he hasn't eaten well over the last five years, so we're focusing on that," Col. Steve Warren told reporters in Washington, according to Stars and Stripes. "There are other matters but for obvious reasons, I'm not going to get into the details."

Warren would not venture into specific medical problems beyond the nutritional, but let stand earlier statements by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who said failure to bring Bergdahl back for medical treatment could have threatened his life.

According to Stars and Stripes, which focuses its coverage on the U.S. Armed Forces, Landstuhl Regional Medical Center is the largest American hospital outside the United States.

The center has treated more than 70,000 troops injured in Iraq and Afghanistan and last cared for former POWs from the Iraq war in 2003.

Those soldiers spent anywhere from five to eight days or more recovering at LRMC. But their time in captivity - 22 days at most - pales in comparison to Bergdahl's years in Taliban custody.