- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 26, 2014

Tensions continue to simmer over the Obama administration’s controversial decision to swap five Taliban officials for the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, with a POW/MIA group now in the crosshairs for supporting the returned soldier.

The Boise Valley POW/MIA group, which hosts motorcycle rides campaigning for missing soldiers in Vietnam, supported the Bergdahl family when Sgt. Bergdahl was first captured in 2009. Now the group is getting hate mail from people who argue that Sgt. Bergdahl was a deserter who betrayed his fellow troops, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

“Utterly disgusting that you would support this traitor,” Dennis Sullivan, of Mesa, Ariz., wrote to the Idaho POW activists, in an email. “ALL the evidence says he left his post voluntarily. And you dare to consider desertion equal with capture? You are a disgrace to every legitimate POW organization out there.”

The MIA/POW group, which focuses its efforts on recovering and returning missing soldiers, or their remains, from war zones, received several hostile emails similar to Mr. Sullivan’s that declared the group activists to be “traitors in your own right.”

“You should be ashamed,” one emailer wrote to the Boise Valley group in an email. “You’re no better than the rat that walked out and turned his back on his brother soldiers.”

Members of the organization say that it is up to the Department of Defense to determine the truth of the incidents leading up to Sgt. Bergdahl’s capture, and it has been and will always be their job to support family members of missing or captured servicemen and women.

• Kellan Howell can be reached at khowell@washingtontimes.com.

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