Bergdahl latest: Sgt. wants to be Pfc., Congress gets vocal
BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - As Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl recovers in an Army hospital in Germany, plenty of events are unfolding with his situation.
A friend of the family of Bergdahl says the the family has asked her to relay a message of thanks for all the well wishes from emails, texts, and phone calls. Debbie O'Neall says that Bob and Jani Bergdahl also apologize for not returning any of the messages but they are still grateful.
Their son is still recovering in a hospital in Landstuhl, Germany. U.S. military officials say that so far the sergeant has declined to speak with his parents. Military doctors report that they are taking it slow and haven't even discussed what lead to his disappearance at his Army post.
While Bergdahl is recovering, both Democrats and Republicans had some opinions on what they heard in a closed door meeting about the prisoner exchange Monday evening.
Rep. Buck McKeon, a Republican from California said, "I just heard the last question was 'who made this decision?' and they indicated Secretary Hagel. I asked, I said 'you're saying Secretary Hagel made this decision? Or was this the president of the United States?' It was the president that came out with all the Bergdahl's and took all the credit."
It wasn't only Republicans who had questions. Some Democrats were wary of Secretary of State John Kerry's message that the United States would be keeping an eye on any of the Taliban prisoners that returned to the fight. Senator Dianne Feinstein said, "I heard John Kerry this morning say, you know, 'don't worry about them in Doha.' You can't help but worry about them in Doha."
Army officials also say that Bergdahl does not want to be recognized as a sergeant, the rank he was promoted to while being held prisoner, but he wants his old rank of private first class.
Republicans expressed their disbelief that more than 80 members of the Obama Administration knew about the prisoner swap before any member of Congress did. There were also supporters of the prisoner swap. Democrat Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois said, "Beyond securing Bergdahl's release, the rest is extraneous. The prisoners were former Afghan government officials who've never been charged with any acts of wrongdoing by the United States."
So far there is no timeline for when Bergdahl will be released from the hospital in Germany and brought back to the U.S to continue his reintegration.