Members of women's military group back Jani Bergdahl

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by KTVB.COM

KREM.com

Posted on June 16, 2014 at 5:56 PM

Female veterans and military family members spoke out in support of Bowe Bergdahl's mother Monday through the "Military Wives Makeovers."

Cathy Cardenas, director of the organization, said it was upsetting to see Jani Bergdahl come under fire as controversy surrounding her son continues to mount.

"We have been very troubled to see how Americans have treated this amazing woman, who as a mother has already suffered during the past five years in ways most of us could never imagine," she wrote in a Monday press release.

Jani Bergdahl was one of 30 military family members selected by the organization to share their stories while being pampered in February. That was months before Bowe Bergdahl was released after five years as a Taliban prisoner.

Cardenas remembers a woman who "had every opportunity to be angry and mad and point fingers when it came to Bowe." Instead, when Jani Bergdahl stood up to speak, she displayed an upbeat outlook and gratitude toward the people fighting to bring the captured soldier back to the U.S., Cardenas wrote.

In the weeks following Bowe Bergdahl's release public opinion has shifted, with many painting Bergdahl as a deserter and taking out their animosity on his family and hometown. The circumstances surrounding his capture are still unclear, but the Army launched an investigation Monday to begin probing whether the soldier voluntarily left his post before his capture.

To Cardenas, that doesn't matter.

"I hope America and the media can see the Bergdahls as parents and let go of the hate and anger that has been brought on by a lot of hearsay," she wrote. "If Americans continue spreading hate and buying into these rumors I feel they are really missing the opportunity to see who these parents are and what an amazing example of faith and strength they are to so many in this country."

Other women involved in the organization also offered their support.

"It is a sad day in our wonderful United States that we do not stand behind family members of military service members," wrote Cheryl Chamberlain, the wife of an Air Force member.

"Jani and Bob are an inspiration of never giving up and never losing faith," veteran Reina Vallejo wrote. "Jani is such a caring and compassionate person and you can feel it radiating off of her within a few minutes of being around her."

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