Veteran Talks About Searching for Bergdahl

Veteran Talks About Searching for Bergdahl

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MOBILE, Ala. -

On Sgt. Justin Whittaker's Facebook page, his profile picture is of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl stamped with the word, "traitor."

Whittaker was in the first platoon sent out to search for Bergdahl when he went missing in Afghanistan.

Whittaker was sent to search for Bergdahl the night he missed roll call. He says it was obvious Bergdahl left his post.

"He walked away with no weapon, no equipment, and no sensitive items. As an infantry soldier, the last thing you're not going to take with you is your weapon," says Sgt. Whittaker.

Does he believe Sgt. Bergdahl deserves a hero's welcome?

"I don't know what we are hailing as a hero. He walked away from people who would take a bullet for him," says Whittaker.

One of those people, was Staff Sgt. Kurt Curtiss, who was also one of the first sent to find Bergdahl.

"When Curtiss walked through the door, he was shot and killed instantly," says Whittaker. Curtiss was his first friend when he joined the army.

Meanwhile, President Obama is defending his decision to exchange the five taliban fighters for Bergdahl.

"We still get an American soldier back if he's held in captivity. Period," says the president.

That doesn't sit well with Congressman Bradley Byrne.

"I know the administration is trying not to use these words, but there's no question. The United States just negotiated with terrorists, and we have never done that before," says Congressman Byrne.

Byrne is on the House of Armed Services Committee, which will hold a hearing to get answers on the trade.

"We know that there was a violation of a federal statute in the way that they did it. So, we want to know is why they did it, and why they thought they could get away with it. We also want to know why they thought that these particular five detainees could be traded."

Some argue that five years captivity is punishment enough for abandoning his post. But, Whittaker says, something must be done.

"I think he should suffer for everything he did."

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