Roseville man slams Bergdahl as deserter

ROSEVILLE, Calif. - U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl is back on American soil undergoing medical treatment in Texas after spending five years in Taliban captivity. But former members of his platoon, including a Roseville man, continue to speak out about the controversial exchange.

Joshua Cornelison, 25, is a former Army medic and companion of Bergdahl. He is speaking out about Bergdahl's release, calling him a deserter.

Cornelison had daily interactions with the soldier before his disappearance in June of 2009.

Cornelison says Bergdahl would rarely share any personal information with others.

"He had mentioned I want to walk to India, I kind of want to disappear off the grid but you don't ever think that someone's going to walk off in the middle of Afghanistan," recalled Cornelison.

Bergdahl was help captive by the Taliban for five years until his release last month.

In a controversial deal, the prisoner of war was exchanged for five Taliban prisoners being held at Guantanamo Bay.

Now that Bergdahl is recovering at a military hospital in San Antonio, there are many who question his loyalty.

"He's not a hero. He didn't serve with honor or distinction as certain people have said. He's a deserter, purposefully left his post. He abandoned his platoon," said Cornelison.

"Not only did he put everybody that was already there in danger, he put thousands of other people in danger that got sent over looking for him."

An initial Army investigation concluded that Bergdahl left his remote base in eastern Afghanistan without permission. His motive remains unclear.

Cornelison says Bergdahl deserves to be back in the US but wants him to answer for his actions.

"The army ethos, the creed goes both ways. Never leave a man behind. We didn't leave Bowe Bergdahl behind, he left us behind," said Cornelison.

The Army has appointed a two-star general to look into the circumstances surrounding Bergdahl's disappearance.


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