This 'Serial' Subject Is A War Hero

In the latest episode of Serial season two, host Sarah Koenig looks into the tangled bureaucracy behind retrieving U.S. hostages and speaks to the many people who were involved in bringing Bowe Bergdahl home. One person in particular was instrumental in Bergdahl's release, helping to broker the deal with the Taliban that led to his freedom. Though he later became the subject of a criminal probe by the Army, Jason Amerine is a war hero — not just for helping to bring Bergdahl home, but for his bravery in the combat field during the Invasion of Afghanistan. In fact, he's such a real-life hero that Jason Amerine has an action figure in his likeness, and here's how to get your hands on one.

In Episode 5, titled "Meanwhile, in Tampa," Koenig interviews Amerine, a retired lieutenant colonel who led a secret Pentagon team tasked with securing the release of Bergdahl and other U.S. and Canadian hostages believed to be held by the Taliban and al Qaeda. His work in releasing hostages led to a probe by the Army Criminal Investigation Command last year over potential classified information that Amerine may have disclosed to Representative Duncan Hunter. However, in November, the Green Beret was cleared of any wrongdoing and awarded the prestigious Legion of Merit for his "standards of excellence and professionalism."

But before he was honored in November, Amerine was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and the Purple Heart for his bravery in Afghanistan, where he helped fight a guerrilla war against the Taliban that led to their surrender of Kandahar. Because of his actions, Amerine is now featured as a "Real Hero" in the U.S. Army's video game, America's Army. But that's not all. You know Amerine must be a true hero because there's an action figure made after him.

If you've been reading up on Amerine and following his investigation and subsequent clearance, you're probably pretty enamored by the former soldier. Luckily, you can purchase Amerine's action figure for yourself. According to this Amazon page, there's only one figure left in stock, at the reasonable price of $17.99.

But it wasn't only in the field where this war hero had to overcome the odds. In the latest episode of Serial, Amerine recalls to Koenig how other colleagues felt about Bergdahl.

You know, if you asked people about Bergdahl ... the refrain was almost always that the guy was a traitor, even though there actually wasn't any evidence that he was a traitor. So that attitude was everywhere up and down the chain of command.

This attitude significantly impeded the progress of Bergdahl's case, but Amerine pushed forward regardless. He developed a plan to trade Bergdahl for Haji Bashir Noorzai, a prominent Taliban member who was arrested in the U.S. in 2005 for drug trafficking. However, because of Amerine's sudden investigation, the plan fell through and instead of one Taliban member, the U.S. had to give up five in exchange for Bergdahl.

Images: Amazon