Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl made a surprise appearance at his sentencing hearing on Monday, and apologized to a badly wounded soldier who was shot in the head in the search for him after he walked off of his base in Afghanistan. In a tearful statement, Bergdahl said that he never intended for anyone to get hurt, and that he felt awful that people had been injured looking for him. Bergdahl was not expected to speak at his hearing.
Bergdahl also spoke about his time in captivity and described how he was treated by the Taliban during his nearly five years as prisoner.
From Fox News:
"I would like everyone who searched for me to know it was never my intention for anyone to be hurt, and I never expected that to happen," he said during the hearing at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. "My words alone can't take away their pain.
He was the first witness for the defense, who hadn't previously made it known that Bergdahl would address the court. It was his most extensive remarks in court yet.
Asked by a defense attorney what the worst part of captivity was, he responded that it wasn't the beatings. "The worst was the constant, just the constant deterioration of everything. The constant pain from my body falling apart. The constant screams from my mind," he said. "It was the years of waiting to see whether or not the next time someone opens the door if that would be the person coming to execute you."
Earlier this month, Bergdahl pleaded guilty to charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. He faces up to life in prison. His lawyer attempted to get the case dismissed after then-candidate Donald Trump made statements saying that Bergdahl was a traitor, but the judge said that he was still able to fairly rule on the case.