As the Obama administration continues to staunchly defend the decision to bring Bowe Bergdahl home as a hero, many of his fellow soldiers and parents of soldiers who were killed looking for him are continuing to speak out about how he deserted them on the battlefield, a move they consider a major betrayal. Watch some of their statements below.
Sgt. Matt Vierkan on CNN:
"I was pissed off then and I am even more so now with everything going on," said former Sgt. Matt Vierkant, a member of Bergdahl's platoon when he went missing on June 30, 2009. "Bowe Bergdahl deserted during a time of war and his fellow Americans lost their lives searching for him." Vierkant said Bergdahl needs to not only acknowledge his actions publicly but face a military trial for desertion under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
PFC Jose Baggett on Fox News:
"He walked off so our mission changed and since our mission changed people were put at risk and people's lives were lost because we were searching for him."
"This isn't a political stand point for me at all, I don't have any political views on anything about it all, it's just the facts and the fact is our mission changed and it was because Bowe Bergdahl left and he left on his own accord."
Army medic Josh Cornelison on Fox News:
"He deserted his post willfully and purposefully."
"We spend 90 days after he immediately left, there were extra assets brought over to us and there was increased activity on the ground and it made it very easy for the Taliban to pick and choose what targets they wanted to hit and it was just a field day for them."
"He left me and my platoon and he walked away on his own will and conscious."
"Bergdahl being traded for these five Taliban individuals and then coming back to the United States and being treated as a hero, that's incredibly frustrating, incredibly infuriating because there are men and women, especially men who I knew in Afghanistan died looking for him. Those are the heroes, Bergdahl who walked away, who deserted his post, he is not a hero."
"He is a deserter and needs to be held 100 percent accountable for his actions."
Parents of Pfc. Matthew Martinek, who was killed searching for Bergdahl on Fox News:
"The comments that have been made about bringing him [Bergdahl] home as a hero are very disconcerting to me."
"How do you consider somebody who serves with honor who is disrespecting his own fellow soldiers that are about him and on top of all that my son who goes and looks for him because he went AWOL, is killed."
"Absolutely [Bergdahl should be charged and prosecuted."
Sergeant Evan Buetow, Bergdahl's team leader:
"He walked away."
This post has been updated with additional video.