How wounds suffered in search for Bergdahl changed 3 lives

| July 21, 2019

hatch
Retired Navy SEAL James Hatch, wearing a bite suit, helps train a Norfolk K-9 unit dog in Norfolk, Va., in 2015. Hatch’s leg wound from enemy fire while searching for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl ended his career as a Navy SEAL. Hatch’s wounds and others will be weighed by the judge in determining Bergdahl’s punishment on charges that he endangered his comrades by walking off his post in Afghanistan in 2009. (Bill Tiernan/The Virginian-Pilot via AP)

Came across this while posting Bergdahl’s appeal. It’s a miracle none were killed in searching for the deserter, but lives were changed forever because of his crime. Apparently Hatch’s wounds, and those of two others, weighed lightly on the Judge. Bergdahl was reduced in rate to E-1, lost all pay and allowances, and was awarded a BCD. These were considered sufficient punishment.
I disagree.
From the Army Times:

By: Jonathan Drew
RALEIGH, N.C. — One soldier who searched for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl uses a wheelchair now, unable to speak because of a head wound. Another still can’t fully use his right hand. Still another searcher saw a leg wound from enemy fire end his career as a Navy SEAL.

Those wounds are expected to be considered by the judge who will determine Bergdahl’s punishment on charges that he endangered his comrades by walking off his post in Afghanistan in 2009. The sentencing hearing opens Monday for Bergdahl, who pleaded guilty to misbehavior before the enemy and desertion.

Here are the stories of wounded searchers who are part of the case against Bergdahl.

Army National Guard Master Sgt. Mark Allen had already served in Iraq and could have begged off another deployment, a family friend said.

“He told me that he was coming back to a frontline unit because they were going to be deployed and he didn’t want his guys to go alone,” said Robert Stokely.

Deployed to Afghanistan, Allen was shot in the head in July 2009 while searching for Bergdahl. The traumatic brain injury dramatically changed life for Allen, his wife and two children. Once an avid outdoorsman, Allen depends on a wheelchair and can’t speak.

Allen’s wife, Shannon, declined to be interviewed. But the toll was evident as she sat crying in the courtroom the day Bergdahl pleaded guilty.

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Jonathan Morita of California, who served as an Army corporal, was reservist and Iraq veteran taking college classes when he was recalled for Afghanistan duty.

“I was at home enjoying life as a civilian — going to school, working at a job,” he said by phone earlier this year.

During the search mission that left Allen wounded, a rocket-propelled grenade shattered Morita’s hand. The projectile didn’t explode, but he needed multiple surgeries.

Morita can’t bend the thumb or index finger on his right hand. He’s had to learn again how to brush his teeth and write.

“Imagine doing things with your three fingers,” Morita said. “I can’t even change the oil on my car.”

He said he’s trying to live as normally as possible, but still feels anger toward Bergdahl: “Every time I hit my finger on something, there’s only one image that pops in my head, and it’s him.”

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Retired Senior Chief Petty Officer James Hatch, a former Navy SEAL, said his team had 90 minutes to plan a separate search mission under poor conditions. But he felt the mission was crucial.

“I did not want Sgt. Bergdahl’s mother to see her son executed on YouTube,” Hatch said in a statement.

Their helicopters came under fire as they were landing to search near the Pakistan border.

Hatch testified his leg was hit by AK-47 fire, and a military dog that helped locate enemy fighters was killed. He now runs a nonprofit providing care and support for military and law enforcement dogs.

He credits survival to team members who quickly applied a tourniquet. “They saved me from bleeding to death,” said Hatch, who entered the pretrial hearing limping.

No words. Read the rest here: Army Times

Category: Afghanistan, Army, Crime, Legal, Navy

Comments (15)

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  1. chooee lee says:

    I can’t begin to think of adequate punishment for this piece of smegma.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I’m partial to the 300 insult, but Bowe “Snowflake” Bergdahl wouldn’t get it…

  3. 5th/77th FA says:

    Thanks AW1Ed. These stories need to be told and re-told and then told again. Lead video on every day’s evening news. Three Warrior’s lives ruined forever AND a K9 casualty KIA on a mission that should have never taken place. Granted, hindsight is 20/20, the original thought was he had been kidnapped, and higher didn’t want to listen to other theories that he had jumped over the wire. What’s done is done. Bo needs to go!

    I stand by my post on the other thread. New rope and a good scaffold. If not that, then he should spend the rest of his life doing the chores that these Warriors aren’t able to do because of their injuries. At the very least, cleaning up the Dog Runs at the non profit…with his tongue.

    • AW1Ed says:

      I get no joy from posting these, 5/77. These stories have to be told no matter the inch/pounds of torque on my molars. Must be my mother’s journalist side making its presence known in her son.

  4. Ex-PH2 says:

    Punishment? Ostracism works for me. That, and having to wear a 3-line tattoo on his foreahed, as follows: TRAITOR DESERTER ASSHOLE

    But that’s just me.

  5. Fyrfighter says:

    The dog that was killed as reported above had far more valor than that scum bergdahl. After he receives an appropriate execution, there should be a fire hydrant installed on his grave, so all dogs, military and otherwise can piss on his grave in memory of their fallen brother!

  6. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    May what Begdahl dod forever be on his conscience as he perpetually realizes that the Friends, Family Members and Buddies of those KIA and WIA along with everyone who knows what he did is out there as he forever looks over his shoulder every waking moment. May he die cold, lonely, hungry and forgotten and may the day he was born be erased from the calendar.

  7. Inbred Redneck says:

    That K-9s life was worth more that that POS Bergdahl’s.

  8. Hate_me says:

    I would be genuinely interested in hearing more of that dog’s story. I’ve noticed other stories express thanks that no American servicemen were killed in the search for this… ad-hominim… but military working dogs are among our most faithful brothers-in-arms, and a servicemember did die in the search. The mission was worth the cost, as it’s bad for the nation to have any service member (hero or traitor) held by the enemy. Bergdahl’s life, however, is worthless compared to the service of that pup.

    • STGCS Ret says:

      This is the way I remember reading Senior Chief Hatch’s story but I believe the K9 that Senior was working with literally walked right into a enemy ambush – The K9 was killed but Senior credits the K9 to saving his life even though his knee was destroyed – Leg wound doesn’t even begin to explain Senior Chiefs wounds. I don’t want my statement as “walked into” to be misleading it wasn’t like they were out for a stroll – they were in a dry wash and I think the dog may have got a scent but it definitely was an ambush the dog discovered.