Reports: Sgt. Bergdahl may return to active duty

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by Shawn Chitnis & USA TODAY

KREM.com

Posted on July 14, 2014 at 5:28 AM

Updated Monday, Jul 14 at 6:22 PM

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has completed a course of counseling at an Army hospital in Texas and may return to active duty as early as Monday, according to media reports.

The development is being reported by CNN and The New York Times, citing unnamed defense officials.

Bergdahl was released from Taliban captivity May 31 in a controversial trade that resulted in handing over five Taliban detainees to the government of Qatar in return for his freedom.

Bergdahl was held captive by the Taliban for nearly 5 years after he went missing from his post in Afghanistan in 2009.

Bergdahl, 28, has completed therapy and counseling at an Army hospital in San Antonio, and will be assigned at the same base, Fort Sam Houston, the Times reported.

Maj. Gen. Kenneth Dahl has been assigned to investigate Bergdahl's disappearance from his outpost in Afghanistan in 2009. The Army had said, however, that the investigation would have to wait until Bergdahl's health had improved.

Bergdahl will live in barracks and have two other soldiers help him readjust, Times said.

Bergdahl's return to service comes after the Obama adminstration drew sharp rebukes from many Republicans -- and even some Democrats -- in Congress for making the swap. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., had been among those who expressed concern that the Guantanamo Bay detainees released in the Bergdahl deal could return to the battlefield and even kill Americans.

Last week Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., who heads the Armed Services Committee, released letters from each of Joint Chiefs expressing support for Bergdahl's "repatriation."

"Each of these military leaders emphasized a simple principle – America does not leave its troops behind," Levin said in a statement. "The unanimous support of the Joint Chiefs for securing Sergeant Bergdahl's release is a powerful statement on the importance of that commitment. I give great weight to their views, and I believe it's important for the American people to hear them."

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