In Regaining Bergdahl, America Lost Six Soldiers Who Never Deserted

The controversy surrounding President Obama’s efforts to free Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl has rattled the country, as fellow soldiers insist Bergdahl deserted and their lives were put on the line to find him. Those who have not spoken– who cannot speak– are the six soldiers who ultimately gave their lives in the search for Bergdahl.

The six men who died–Staff Sergeant Clayton Bowen, Staff Sgt. Kurt Curtiss, 2nd Lt. Darryn Andrews, Pfc. Morris Walker, Staff Sergeant Michael Murphrey, and Pfc. Matthew Michael Martinek–were part of the same command unit as Bergdahl and died on missions related to his search.

Bowen and Walker were killed on the same mission by a roadside bomb in 2009 while out searching for Bergdahl. Curtis was killed in the same part of the country, Paktika Province, Afghanistan, by gunshot wound during an attack in which he was supporting Afghan security forces. Andrews and Martinek also died in Paktika, the victims of separate improvised explosive device attacks on their vehicles. Martinek lived for a week after the attack before finally yielding to his wounds. Murphrey also died after being wounded by an explosive.

The parents of some of these lost soldiers have begun to demand explanations. The Andrews family told the Daily Mail that the government told them Darryn died “while hunting a Taliban commander,” not on the search for Bergdahl. Meanwhile, soldiers who survived are beginning to discuss the details of the Bergdahl case, in particular the way they were discouraged from questioning decisions on the search for Bergdahl and threatened over speaking of the case.


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