Army wants 14-year term for Bergdahl
FORT BRAGG, N.C. » Army prosecutors recommended Thursday that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who has pleaded guilty to deserting his Army post in Afghanistan, should spend 14 years in prison and be stripped ofmost benefits afforded to military veterans, including health care.
Bergdahl’s lawyers, citing medical experts’ determination that prison time could exacerbate his fragile mental health, have suggested he receive a dishonorable discharge only, which in addition to the loss of health care could greatly complicate his future employment options.
The judge, Army Col. Jeffery Nance, closed the court Thursday to deliberate. In addition to the desertion charges, Bergdahl, 31, also has pleaded guilty to misbehavior before the enemy, which carries a maximum life sentence. Nance is expected to make his decision as early as today.
Capt. Nina Banks, who gave the defense’s remarks, said the punishment for Bergdahl’s “horrible decision” was mostly paid out by his years in captivity.