Bowe Bergdahl Won't Speak To Parents Robert & Jani Bergdahl, And Nobody Knows Why
Since he was released from nearly five years of Taliban captivity, Bowe Bergdahl hasn't spoken with his parents, a U.S. Army official said Tuesday. The former prisoner of war arrived back in the United States on May 31 and was being treated at the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, for the last month. Bergdahl returned to active duty with the Army on Monday at the Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the reasons for Bergdahl's refusal to speak with his parents when they contact him — via phone calls — remain unclear. After all, Bergdahl just completed a "reintegration process" at the Army medical center to help him adjust to normal life — though it looks like rekindling a relationship with his parents was not part of that process.
A spokesperson for the Bergdahl family also declined to comment to WSJ about the on-going family drama.
Despite ignoring his parents, Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren insisted that Bergdahl is "a normal soldier" who's ready to return to active duty. Although Bergdahl is still under investigation for his 2009 disappearance in Afghanistan and eventual capture by the Taliban, the Pentagon said he won't be restricted as a soldier. "He will now return to regular duty within the command, where he can contribute to the mission," a Pentagon statement said.
Bergdahl's silent treatment toward his parents may become as great a mystery as his disappearance. His father, 54-year-old Robert Bergdahl, has been in the public eye for years, defending his son, taking on his critics and, above all, pleading for his safe return.
"A father does not leave his son alone on the battlefield," Robert told press in January 2014. "I do not live here. I live in Afghanistan."
In a video interview with The Guardian leading up to his son's release from Taliban captivity, Robert said:
I'm a father who wants his son back. ... I wake up each morning and my first thought is, 'My son is a still a prisoner of war in Afghanistan, and I need to do something about that.'
Robert and his wife, Jani, also stood beside President Barack Obama on May 31 as he formally announced the release of Bergdahl. "We can not wait for the moment when you and your son are reunited," Obama said to the couple at the end of his speech.
When it was Robert's turn to speak, he addressed his son in Arabic: "I’m your father, Bowe,” Robert said.
The family has yet to release a statement about their son's lack of communication.
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