A soldier in Bowe Berghdal’s unit has come forward with some stunning allegations about the events surrounding the desertion. Chase Spears, who was the public affairs officer for Bergdahl’s unit, wrote at The Baltimore Sun:
The most basic tenet of my job as the unit spokesman was to be knowledgeable on all critical facts pertaining to the brigade. The Bergdahl story was the biggest annual recurring news event reflecting one of our soldiers. Yet, it took months for me to convince a leader to brief me on the facts associated with it. In the days following Sergeant Bergdahl’s desertion, soldiers with knowledge of the facts were forced to sign nondisclosure agreements. The truth about Sergeant Bergdahl was suppressed at the cost of their peace of mind.
Though it was common knowledge inside the unit that Sergeant Bergdahl had deserted, the Army allowed the myth to perpetuate that he might have fallen behind on a patrol. Soldiers who knew the truth were afraid to speak up, out of fear that they would be punished.