The Defense Department’s immediate goal with Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is to take care of his medical needs, Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren told reporters today.
Bergdahl was returned to U.S. military hands on May 31st, 2014 after being held captive for nearly five years by the Taliban. He is being treated for nutritional needs at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, where he arrived yesterday, Warren told reporters. Landstuhl is the largest U.S. hospital in Europe.
“Sergeant Bergdahl is in stable condition and is receiving treatment for conditions that require hospitalization,” he said. “Part of that treatment process includes attention to dietary and nutritional needs after almost five years in captivity.”
Following his treatment at Landstuhl, Bergdahl will be transported stateside to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio for continued care, Warren added.
The former prisoner of war is in a reintegration phase that “runs the complete spectrum of both physical and psychological [issues],” the colonel said, explaining that the phase comprises being returned to U.S. control, treatment at a regional medical facility and reintegration with his family and community. A key component of this reintegration is his family, Warren said, noting that Bergdahl has not yet spoken with family members.
The Defense Department also will determine through debriefings what conditions he lived in while he was in captivity, Warren said.
There have been several looks into the circumstances surrounding Bergdahl’s disappearance, Warren said, adding that DOD never confirmed that the sergeant was a deserter. A key component to the investigation is Bergdahl’s story, he said.
Five detainees were released from prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cubam in exchange for Bergdahl’s freedom, Warren said, adding that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel “determined that this transfer was in the best interest of the United States of America.”
Whether Bergdahl will return to his Army unit isn’t under consideration at this time, the colonel said.
“It’s still too soon to determine that,” he added.
By Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service