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Freed U.S. soldier a deserter to some

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For nearly five years, U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has been hailed as a hero: a prisoner of war captured while on combat duty in Afghanistan and held captive by the Taliban.

But in the days since Bergdahl’s high-profile release Saturday — celebrated as “a happy day” by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel — an alternate narrative has emerged. In this version, now suggested by several fellow soldiers who were stationed with Bergdahl at Observation Post Mest in eastern Afghanistan, the 28-year-old Idaho native is not a hero but a deserter.

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