WA soldier who testified against Bowe Bergdahl talks about sentencing fate

Bowe Bergdahl sentencing AP95.jpg
United States Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl arrives at the Fort Bragg courtroom facility for a sentencing hearing on Monday, Oct. 30, 2017, on Fort Bragg, N.C. Bergdahl, who walked off his base in Afghanistan in 2009 and was held by the Taliban for five years, pleaded guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. (Andrew Craft/The Fayetteville Observer via AP)/The Fayetteville Observer via AP)

"What he did was, ya know, it's the epitome of dishonorable," retired US Army Sgt, Evan Buetow, tells KVI's John Carlson about the desertion saga of an Army soldier in his unit, Bowe Bergdahl. Bergdahl walked away from their base camp in Afghanistan in 2009. He was eventually captured by Taliban and held captive for five years.

Bergdahl now faces up to life in prison after pleading guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy for walking off his remote post in Paktika Province.

Buetow just returned home to Maple Valley, WA after testifying at Fort Bragg, North Carolina at Bergdahl's sentencing.

Buetow tells KVI, "Everyone who was there, most of us who knew him are kind of under the same idea right now...but I think he needs a dishonorable discharge. He needs to not be a sergeant any more. He needs to be a private. So he needs to be demoted down to nothing. No benefits, no back pay, none of that. And when it comes to jail time, I mean, that's up to the judge. If he got zero jail time, I would not complain. If he got life in prison, I would not complain."

"The world knows what he did and who he is and its out of my hands. And I'm not gonna waste my time any more trying to get myself worked up trying to, ya know, get him in prison. Its out of my hands. I did my part. I just know he needs to be dishonorable discharge, dishonorably discharged."

Carlson asked if this recent report about providing useful intelligence about the Taliban after his release should impact the military judge's sentencing decision. Buetow responded saying, "If that alters the way that we do data collection that she suggests that we just go give Americans to the Taliban so we can get more information, I don't really understand where she was going out with that. I mean, I understand that someone in captivity for that long is gonna have information to bring back."

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