Disgraced and dishonored Pvt. Bowe Bergdahl deserted his base in Afghanistan and recently plead guilty to those charges. According to Breitbart, a military judge ruled that Bergdahl be dishonorably discharged and demoted in rank from sergeant to private. So why is the military mulling over whether to pay him back pay when he was held by the Taliban? The answer should be an automatic “No”, right?
Not so fast, say some in the U.S. military officials. The Army is considering whether Bergdahl should still be considered a prisoner of war, according to Fox News. Sounds asinine that a deserter who actually willingly abandoned his post should now profit from his cowardice because he was unlucky enough to have been captured by the enemy forces he was there to defend against.
Not only should the U.S. military abandon the notion of even paying this deserter any back pay and benefits, but Bergdahl should be financially on the hook for the pain and suffering of the survivors of those brave military soldiers that died searching for him.
In addition, congress should immediately consider legislation that would automatically deny back pay and benefits to any military personnel that are convicted or plead guilty to desertion.
Breitbart reported that “Prisoners of war and other soldiers in captivity are entitled to exclusive benefits, such as $150,000 worth of special compensation. They are also eligible for hostile-fire pay and basic pay for their usual duties while in captivity.” Logically, under non-desertion circumstances, American prisoners of war should be eligible for any and all legal benefits. Yet, Bergdahl made the specific choice to abandon his post, which resulted in his five years of captivity. His choice should automatically result in the termination of basic pay for the five years he spent in captivity.
Yet, an army official told the Army Times, “In order to figure out what he’s owed, you’re basically going to have to start from that point of captivity.” The official furthered explained, “My understanding is there has to be an administrative determination of his duty status at each point, from the time he was captured until now.”
What right thinking American would ever conceive that a person who abandons his post, and admits to abandoning his post and is subsequently convicted of being a deserter should profit from his desertion? The commonsense answer is no one…except possibly liberals.
Either Congress must pass a law that automatically denies a convicted military deserter access to pay, benefits and allowances or President Trump should issue an executive order making this policy mandatory. No one should ever profit from desertion, period!
Image: Excerpted from: United States Army – http://blog.oregonlive.com/, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=22415742