Bergdahl In Stable Condition At Army Medical Center In Texas

U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who spent five years as a Taliban prisoner of war before being released on May 31, was in stable condition at a military hospital in Texas and has not yet met with his parents, military officials said on Friday.

Bergdahl In Stable Condition At Army Medical Center In Texas

Bergdahl, who arrived in the pre-dawn hours of Friday on a military flight from Germany, was in a good enough physical condition to meet with debriefers but has not been informed of the controversy surrounding his capture, the officials said.


"Sergeant Bergdahl will participate in reintegration, a process that will aim to equip Sergeant Bergdahl with the necessary tools to regain appropriate levels of physical and emotional stability, to effectively resume normal activities with minimal physical and emotional complications," Major General Joseph DiSalvo told a news conference.

Rear Admiral John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, said Bergdahl left Ramstein Air Base in Germany aboard a military plane on Thursday afternoon and will be cared for at the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio.

While the Army gave few details about Bergdahl's health and emotional state, officials told the news conference they were pleased with his physical state on arrival.

"He appeared just like any sergeant would, when they see a two-star general: A little bit nervous. But he looked good," DiSalvo said.

Officials said Bergdahl had been able to walk into the hospital, and was settling in after a long transatlantic flight from Germany.

Bergdahl has had one request when it comes to food, military officials said - peanut butter.

Bergdahl was handed over to U.S. forces in Afghanistan in exchange for five Taliban leaders held at Guantanamo prison in Cuba. His release initially sparked a wave of support that was quickly overshadowed by a political uproar over the freeing of the senior Taliban members.

Lawmakers criticized the Obama administration for failing to give them 30 days' notice before transferring prisoners from Guantanamo as required by law. Some charged that in doing the exchange, the administration had effectively violated its policy against negotiating with terrorists.

Some of Bergdahl's former comrades in Afghanistan also voiced anger, alleging that he had deserted when he walked away from his post in circumstances that are unclear and was later captured.

Kirby said Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel had expressed confidence the Army will continue to ensure Bergdahl "receives the care, time and space he needs to complete his recovery and reintegration."

The military hospital has teams of specialists and has been helping returning prisoners of war for decades.

Bergdahl's parents, Bob and Jani Bergdahl, were expected to travel to Texas from their Idaho home, although it was not immediately clear when, or whether they had spoken with their son.

In a statement released on behalf of the family, the Bergdahls said they do not intend to make their travel plans public.

"They ask for continued privacy as they concentrate on their son's reintegration," the statement said.