Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl has been charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. Of course, he blames his unit for a lack of “order and discipline,” which led to him leaving his post to inform someone else of his “concerns about leadership issues at his base.” While Bergdahl and his “ordeal” at the hands of his Taliban captors often takes center stage, what is often forgotten are the men that lost their lives or were injured looking for him. Additionally, there are some who looked for Bergdahl, who didn’t lose their lives, but are forever impacted due to his desertion. I introduce you to Master Sgt. Mark Allen of Loganville, Georgia and his wife Shannon.
It was Georgia soldiers from the National Guard’s 48th Infantry Brigade, who set out to look for Bergdahl, believing that he had been taken captive by the Taliban. Master Sgt. Mark Allen was one of those brave soldiers.
Allen was shot in the head by a sniper as he searched for Bergdhal, rendering him paralyzed and in need of constant, supervised care.
Though not aware of the circumstances surrounding her husband’s injuries, she and her community welcomed him home in December of 2011. However, when she found out that Bergdahl had been traded illegally by the Obama administration for five top Taliban leaders, she felt that her husband should be the one that people remember. So she took to Facebook writing:
Meet my husband. Injuries directly brought to you by the actions of this traitor (referencing Bergdahl). He can’t give an account of what went down, because he can no longer speak. Now, which guy is a ‘hero’ again?!? Sick.”
According to one report, “Mark Allen suffered a traumatic brain injury in July of 2009 while stationed in Afghanistan and is wheelchair bound with limited upper mobility. Shannon says that due to her husband’s brain injury, his arms ‘are contracted with a limited range of motion.’ Mark can only raise his arms halfway above his head and halfway out to the side, making it virtually impossible to put a standard jacket on him.”
The Allens have two children, Cody and Journey.
Brian Kolfage, the most seriously wounded airman in US history and a triple amputee himself, reminds us what took place following the deal that brought Bergdahl home, ignored the sacrifice of Americans for Bergdahl and traded five enemies of America for him.
On top of that, a number of former soldiers who came out against the deal, stating that Bergdahl was a traitor, were lambasted by President Obama and the mainstream media.
Because of one traitor’s actions, we not only lost good men and women, but we let five Taliban commanders go. Now they are out in the world, at least some trying to join up with terrorist organizations, and Bergdahl will probably be going to jail.
This swap also set a dangerous precedent, showing our enemies that we won’t stand up to them. All in all, this deal only harmed dozens of people, if not more.
While our military’s code is to leave no man behind, you don’t go swapping five of the most dangerous people alive for a traitor. It is a good thing that we got back one of our own, but at what cost?
The cost can be seen in the effects that Sgt. Bergdahl’s actions had on the families of Sgt. 1st Class Mark Allen, his wife, PFC Morris Walker, Staff Sgt. Clayton Bowen, Staff Sgt. Kurt Curtis, Lt. Darryn Andrews, PFC Matthew Martinek and Staff Sgt. Michael Murphrey.
These families seek justice and so does America, but let us also not seek justice in the highest offices of the land that allowed such a treasonous trade to go down.