- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl could receive $350,000 tax-free from the federal government if the current investigation into his 2009 disappearance in Afghanistan concludes that he didn’t desert his post.

Mr. Bergdahl, who was released to the U.S. from the Taliban-aligned Haqqani network in the May exchange for five Guantanamo prisoners, is due approximately $200,000 in back pay during his five-year capture, Fox News reported.

He would be eligible for another $150,000 if an ongoing investigation into why he walked off his base in June 2009 determines he was indeed a prisoner of war.

Both sums could be tax-free, Fox News reported: “Under tax rules for military pay, enlisted personnel can exclude active-duty pay earned while serving in a combat zone. And, according to the Department of Defense’s financial management regulation, payments to former captives generally are not taxable if the captive status resulted from the deprivation of personal rights, such as terrorist activity.”

Mr. Bergdahl was returned to active duty on Monday after a six-week stint in medical rehab at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. He was moved to the U.S. Army North command on Saturday, where he is assigned to the protocol office, which assists soldiers in military procedures and etiquette, the report said.

“Essentially, he’ll be working a desk job,” Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren said Monday, Fox News reported.

“That’s the worst place to put him. They’re pulling his clearance, so I’m not sure what he’s supposed to do,” said one Army official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, Fox News reported.