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Sgt. Bergdahl Wants Old Rank Of PFC, But What About The Back Pay?
( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV ) - U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was promoted while held prisoner by the Taliban, said he wants to be recognized by his old rank, according to a senior U.S. Official.
"In his mind, he's a Pfc," the official told CNN Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr on Sunday.
Now in the beginning of the lengthy road to reintegration after his exchange for five Taliban commanders previously held at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba, Bergdahl is letting those around him know he still feels like a Pfc, regardless of his in-absentia promotion. The U.S. official could not confirm to CNN whether Bergdahl has resumed wearing his uniform but added that doing so is part of the standard reintegration process.
The Pentagon issued a brief statement Sunday, declining to comment on Bergdahl's recovery process beyond saying the Defense Department continues to evaluate Bergdahl, provide him with medical and reintegration care and remains intent on conducting a comprehensive review of the circumstances surrounding his disappearance.
A friend of the family of Bergdahl says the the family has asked her to relay a message of thanks for all the well wishes from emails, texts, and phone calls. Debbie O'Neall says that Bob and Jani Bergdahl also apologize for not returning any of the messages but they are still grateful.
Their son is still recovering in a hospital in Landstuhl, Germany. U.S. military officials say that so far the sergeant has declined to speak with his parents. Military doctors report that they are taking it slow and haven't even discussed what lead to his disappearance at his Army post.
Meanwhile, an article in the Army Times reports that the Army owes Bergdahl a lot of money. The article said that the Army owes Bergdahl a lump sum check for back pay covering his five years in captivity. Estimates are that could total nearly $200,000. Army regulations say a soldier freed from captivity should receive his basic pay but also housing and Food allowance, hostile fire pay and possibly some per diem payments.
At this point, the army times reports it’s not clear when or even if Bergdahl will see any of that money.