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Bergdahl back in the US

Friday, June 13, 2014 - Updated: 12:20 AM

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Bowe Bergdahl, the Army sergeant who has been recovering in Germany after five years as a Taliban captive in Afghanistan, returned to the United States early today to continue his medical treatment.

A Pentagon spokesman, Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby, said Bergdahl flew to Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio from Ramstein Air Base.

While at the Texas Army base, Bergdahl "will continue the next phase of his reintegration process," Kirby said, adding there was no timeline for the process.

"Our focus remains on his health and well-being," he said. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel "is confident that the Army will continue to ensure that Sgt. Bergdahl receives the care, time and space he needs to complete his recovery and reintegration," the spokesman said in a statement.

The Idaho native was captured in Afghanistan in June 2009 and released by the Taliban on May 31 in a deal struck by the Obama administration in which five senior Taliban officials were released from detention at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Officials in Washington said Bergdahl would be reunited with his family at Brooke and spend an undetermined period there in further recuperation. Early today, it was not clear if the family had yet arrived at Fort Sam Houston.

A mass of journalists spent a rainy night crammed into a small parking lot outside Fort Sam Houston. Army officials said no media would be allowed onto the base or in the hospital, and a news conference was scheduled for this afternoon at a nearby golf course.

Officials have kept a lid on details of Bergdahl's condition out of concern that he not be rushed back into the public spotlight after a lengthy period in captivity and amid a public uproar over the circumstances of his capture and release.

The Army has not formally begun a new review into the circumstances of Bergdahl's capture and whether he walked away without leave or was deserting the Army when he was found and taken by insurgents.

In a statement today, the Army said that after Bergdahl's reintegration it would "continue its comprehensive review into the circumstances of his disappearance and captivity."

     

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