A Lieutenant Colonel and Army Lawyer say accused deserter Bowe Bergdahl should be awarded several medals for his service.
Army Lt. Col. Franklin Rosenblatt said Bergdahl, accused of abandoning his eastern Afghanistan post in 2009 before he was captured by the Taliban, is entitled to wear the Purple Heart, the POW Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal and the NATO Medal and that the Army’s failure to grant them could cause bias among jury members.
Biased among jury members, how about disgust among jury members. What we are talking about is a lower than dirt soldier who left his post, and members of his unit were killed looking for him while he was hugged up with the enemy teaching them soccer.
“We believe this is a prejudice and casts a semblance of guilt,” Rosenblatt told Army judge Col. Jeffrey R. Nance, during the hearing that largely focused on the defense’s ability to access classified material related to Bergdahl’s case. “We encourage the government to correct that.”
Bergdahl, who appeared for the first time in front of Nance on Tuesday, wore a pressed dress blue uniform with sergeant’s stripes, a Combat Infantryman Badge and 10 overseas service bars, representing his five years in captivity. Rosenblatt said Bergdahl should be authorized to wear the Purple Heart, the POW Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal and the NATO medal.
Nance, who will oversee Bergdahl’s court-martial scheduled for Aug. 8-19 at Fort Bragg, said there was time to resolve the issue before the trail, adding any prejudice that could be caused by the lack of medals on future pre-trial proceedings is “minimal.”
Nance, the presiding judge in Bergdahl’s trial, said there is plenty of time to resolve the issue before the scheduled Aug 8- Aug 19 trial. He quickly added that any prejudice caused by the lack of medals in pre-trial hearings would be “minimal.”
The alleged deserter faces the possibility of life in prison if convicted on the charge of misbehavior before the enemy while the desertion charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, a dishonorable discharge, reduction of rank to E-1 and forfeiture of all pay and benefits.
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