Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl allegedly left a note saying that he was going to start a “new life” the night he went missing in eastern Afghanistan.
Bergdahl was recently released into U.S. custody by the Taliban after being held captive since his disappearance in June of 2009. Many of the soldiers who served with him at the military post near the Pakistan border have come forward saying they believe Bergdahl is a deserter and should be held accountable for his actions.
One soldier, who requested anonymity, told the Daily Mail that he saw the note and that military commanders passed it around for others to read the night Bergdahl went missing. The unnamed soldier said the letter confirmed what he had already suspected.
“Everyone looked at me like I was crazy but I was right, he had walked off,” he said.
The existence of the letter is not mentioned in any official military reports.
Adding to the suspicion are reports that Bergdahl also emailed his parents three days before he disappeared. In the email he admits that he had grown disillusioned with the Army’s presence in Afghanistan.
“Life is way too short to care for the damnation of others, as well as to spend it helping fools with their ideas that are wrong … I am ashamed to even be (A)merican,” Bergdahl wrote.
That email was originally reported by Rolling Stone magazine in 2012. In it Bergdahl refers to one of his commanders as a “conceited old fool” and says his fellow soldiers comprise an “army of liars, backstabbers, fools and bullies.”
Bergdahl’s team leader in Afghanistan, Evan Buetow, recently told CNN that he was aware of Bergdahl’s growing opposition to the war and that Bergdahl had said things leading him to believe that the soldier had “walked away.”
"It was a gut feeling I had," Buetow said. " ...When he comes up missing and all of his sensitive items are left behind, it just kind of hit us in the head.”
Reports indicate that Bergdahl left behind his weapons and night vision goggles. Many believe he walked away carrying only a knife, a small backpack and some water. He had also mailed many of his belongings home to his parents.
“About a week or two before he left he mailed some of his stuff home,” said Gerald Sutton who was stationed with Bergdahl. “That didn't seem suspicious to us at the time, but it made sense after the fact.”
As questions continue to swirl regarding the soldier’s initial disappearance, Army officials are saying they are not ruling out an investigation.
Secretary of the Army John McHugh said a formal military review will be conducted that “will include speaking with Sgt. Bergdahl to better learn from him the circumstances regarding his disappearance and captivity.
“All other decisions will be made thereafter, and in accordance with appropriate regulations, policies and practices," he added.
McHugh said that the inquiry will not begin until Bergdahl’s medical situation is stabilized and he is deemed healthy.
The soldier is currently recovering and being monitored at a military hospital in Germany.