Parents of fallen soldier say Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl 'not a hero' - WSMV News 4

Parents of fallen soldier say Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl 'not a hero'

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Frederick and Debi Linck Frederick and Debi Linck
Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl

There was celebration Saturday after Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was released by the Taliban. But that was soon joined by reports that Bergdahl wasn't taken prisoner, rather he willingly left his fellow soldiers.

Military families, including some in Middle Tennessee, are among those speaking out, saying the American soldier freed after five years in captivity in Afghanistan is not a hero.

The government says it pledges to leave no man or woman in uniform behind, but instead of welcoming Bergdahl home, one couple who lost a son in combat wants the government to prosecute Bergdahl to the fullest extent of the law.

It is a very sensitive subject for Frederick and Debi Linck. Their son, Staff Sgt. Henry Linck, a 23-year-old fourth generation soldier, died in an IED attack.

"It's a slap in the face to everybody that wears the uniform of the United States and every American in this country," Frederick Linck said.

Bergdahl wandered off his base in eastern Afghanistan alone, unarmed and carrying a compass.

"He chose to be a prisoner of war. He walked away from his people," Frederick Linck said.

Five American soldiers died while searching for Bergdahl.

"It cost the lives of a lot of better men to look for him," Frederick Linck said.

Henry Linck's fellow soldiers were still fighting overseas when Bergdahl took off.

"He's not a hero, and don't believe he is. Talk to the men who were there," Debi Linck said.

The U.S. government exchanged five senior Taliban members from Guantanamo Bay to secure Bergdahl's freedom.

"We don't negotiate with terrorists. We hunt them," Frederick Linck said.

A Department of Defense representative tells Channel 4 News that Bergdahl "suffered a long and stressful ordeal. Our focus right now is on providing him the best possible care and there will be time later to look into the circumstances of his disappearance."

Doctors are now treating Bergdahl in a German hospital, and his parents still await his arrival.

The Lincks, however, want him in jail.

"Please do not put him on a pedestal. He needs to be put in Leavenworth and prosecuted and tried for his war crimes," Debi Linck said.

The Lincks aren't the only ones sounding off about the issue. Many are flocking to social media to voice their concern, and the Lincks say they've already contacted several congressmen, asking them to put Bergdahl behind bars.

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