Navy SEAL Cries While Giving Testimony in Bowe Bergdahl Trial

October 26, 2017 Updated: October 27, 2017

A Navy SEAL who was part of the rescue mission to find Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl cried in court.

Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer James Hatch had to retire after the mission to rescue Bergdahl from his Taliban captors. He suffered a career-ending injury after getting shot in the leg by Taliban terrorists. He and other officers were injured, as major resources of the military were put into rescuing Bergdahl.

But the tears flowed from Hatch’s eyes only after mentioning the dog that accompanied him on military missions, The Washington Post reported. The dog was shot and killed at close range by terrorists, followed by the bullet that injured Hatch’s leg. Hatch cried upon mentioning the name of the dog—Remco—giving testimony that would help determine sentencing for Bergdahl.

Bergdahl, a private first class at the time of his capture in 2009, intentionally wandered away from his military camp in Afghanistan. A search ensued for five years under the military ethos of “Leave no man behind.” Former President Obama managed to secure his release in exchange for five Taliban terrorist leaders from Guantanamo Bay.

But Bergdahl willingly left his partners in arms and his military duties, going over to the enemy side and putting many members of the U.S. military in harm’s way. The incident also disrupted critical ongoing operations in Afghanistan as resources were diverted to the rescue. Bergdahl pleaded guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.

Despite the ongoing military, political, and legal controversy since Bergdahl first deserted, a full accounting of his actions, and a full disclosure of military actions taken thereafter, have yet to be released. Many are the result of nondisclosure agreements many military personnel close to the situation were made to sign.

Chase Spears, a U.S. Army captain, wrote an op-ed for the Baltimore Sun titled “A soldier’s perspective on Bergdahl.” In it, he relates the frustration he experienced trying to get information and closure on the case and its surrounding drama.

“Regardless of what the military court decides, the Department of Defense owes it to the public, the families of soldiers who lost their lives trying to rescue Sergeant Bergdahl, and those soldiers who have carried his burden since 2009, a full report on his actions in Afghanistan’s Paktika Province on June 30, 2009,” wrote Spears.