Medal of Honor recipient critical of Bergdahl release - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Medal of Honor recipient critical of Bergdahl release

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Medal of Honor recipient Sal Giunta Medal of Honor recipient Sal Giunta
U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl (AP photo) U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl (AP photo)
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) - The exchange of five Taliban fighters from Guantanamo Bay for U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in Afghanistan has drawn criticism including from Medal of Honor recipient Salvatore Giunta.

The brave U.S. Army soldier saved the lives of his squad from the Taliban during a deadly ambush in Afghanistan in 2007.

He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, the highest honor for a member of the military, for bravery in combat and going beyond the call of duty.

After five years in captivity, Bergdahl was released Saturday in a swap for the detainees.  Members of Congress were not notified about the exchange as required by law. Also, fellow soldiers said Bergdahl deserted his unit before he was taken captive.

The Obama administration has defended the exchange saying Bergdahl's health was deteriorating.

“We let go true hardened anti-American criminals. The truth will come up. I do believe the military has to do the investigation. This is a military matter, this is not a public matter. I hope he’s worth it. Welcome home. I‘m happy to see that he is released. But I feel the cost of his release is too high. They are leaders. In all honesty, I believe they will return to the battlefield. That’s what leaders do. Bergdahl won’t, but they will,” said Giunta.

On Wednesday, the Taliban sent video to media outlets of Bergdahl's release.

The Idaho native is seen in traditional Afghan clothing sitting in a pickup truck parked on a hillside. More than a dozen Taliban fighters with machine guns stand around the truck and on the hillside.  Bergdahl is seen blinking frequently as he looks at and listens to his captors.

A Black Hawk helicopter then lands and two Taliban fighters, one carrying a white flag, lead Bergdahl half-way. He is greeted and taken by three Western-looking men in civilian clothing to the helicopter, where soldiers in Army uniforms are waiting.

Bergdahl is frisked before he boards the helicopter.

On Thursday, an Pentagon spokesman said Bergdahl's health was improving daily. He is being treated at the Landstuhl medical center in Germany.


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