President honors deserter while ignoring plight of honorably discharged Marine sergeant
Letter to the Editor
Pvt. Jeff Bergdahl, who left his base and post of duty (deserted) while serving in Afghanistan and released after five years in exchange for five Taliban commanders held in “Gitmo,” has been honored by his “commander-in-chief” by being praised on the White House garden before the nation on TV as having served honorably after walking off his duty station not once but on two occasions. He not only was praised for this, but also promoted to sergeant, given back pay and a desk job at an army station until his situation is resolved. In addition to being promoted to sergeant, he has been awarded $200,000 in back pay and benefits held in escrow during his captivity.
Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, promotions earned after two tours of duty in Afghanistan and honorably discharged with earned military awards, sits in a Mexican jail for crossing the border with legally permitted personal possessions (including three permitted weapons) for making a night time accidental wrong turn trying to return to the USA at the Tijuana-San Diego port of entry. Meanwhile, Sgt. Tahmooressi is not acknowledged or shown any visible interest in assistance from the “commander-in-chief” in getting released (and sent home to get PTSD veteran assistance) because of becoming a victim of an understandable Mexican traffic confusion.
“Desertion”: the abandonment without consent or legal justification of a person, post, or relationship and the associated duties and obligations.
But Bergdahl, accompanied by two lawyers, when interviewed and questioned recently in the civilian judicial process, waived his right to remain silent.
Some former soldiers, who served with Bergdahl said he had walked away from his post in a remote section of eastern Afghanistan near the Pakistan border.
Any military person who leaves a post of duty (when experiencing wartime conditions) is a deserter if not duly relieved, was always considered a traitor, and subject to the death penalty. This deserter (Bergdahl) should be given a dishonorable discharge, all pay and benefits removed, and be sentenced to a minimum of 30 years hard labor. Anything less would be a disgrace to all our service people who have served honorably throughout our history.
The US government should take the most urgent action possible to get our US Marine Sgt. Tahmooressi released and returned from imprisonment in this Mexican jail for this minor traffic confusion with all charges removed. Where is our “commander-in-chief” when a loyal, honorably discharged citizen is in need? Can the “commander-in-chief” not use one of his executive orders?
USN AC VP26