Marco Werman: We don't know whether the deal to release Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was brokered to help further a dialogue with the Taliban, but one thing is clear: the prisoner swap is not universally popular here at home. Lots of people are taking sides on whether his release was worth the price. The World's Aaron Schachter has been looking into that.
Aaron Schachter: So I saw this post on Facebook the other day: "I want to make sure I understand the point," my friend said, referring to the Bergdahl deal. "Was this all just a White House PR thing to 'bring our soldier home'... This is a horrible policy decision, one of the worst. Can anyone tell me what the point was?"
Brigadier General Kevin Ryan: The point is that Bowe Bergdahl is an American soldier, he is an American citizen. We should do everything in our power to get him back. Everybody should know that if you're out there, we're gonna come get you.
Schachter: That's retired Brigadier General Kevin Ryan, who is now at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. But what if Bergdahl did something that put fellow soldiers in danger?
Brigadier General Kevin Ryan: He may be a bastard, but he's our bastard, not the Taliban's. And I don't know what Bergdahl did, but let's assume that he walked off of his base, that he went AWOL. Lots of soldiers go AWOL. AWOL is walking away from your unit for less than 30 days without the intent really to desert for longer. So who knows what was going through his mind. But when the Taliban picked him up, he was no longer AWOL â€” he was a prisoner of war.
Schachter: So there you go. Problem solved, case closed. Or not. We got lots of responses when we asked veterans who are fans of PRI's The World to weigh in. There was near-universal support for the doctrine "leave no man behind." But that doesn't mean it's open and shut.
Juan Franco: My name is Juan Franco and I was in Operation Iraqi Freedom too. What really got me was that when you walk away from your post, when you walk away from your area of responsibility, I consider you a traitor.
Greg Walters: I'm Greg Walters, I'm a retired fighter pilot and I've been in every conflict since the first Gulf War.
Schachter: Greg's a retired Brigadier General, too.
Walters: When I keep hearing people talk about how they are willing to do anything to get an American back, well, if you ask the American soldier, myself included, I don't want to come back at the risk of my country. In other words, the purpose of me being a soldier is to go fight for my country, to protect the country
Ryan: I understand people's reactions that say "screw him."
Schachter: General Kevin Ryan acknowledges this is an emotional issue but he says you can't judge a guy before you know the facts. You just have to get him.
Ryan: Politicians deserve to weigh in on this. Americans deserve to weigh in on this. People who disagree with what I'm saying, they've got a right to weigh in on this. But if Bergdahl committed a crime, if there's something he needs to answer for, then he should do it here and not in a prison in Afghanistan or Pakistan.
Schachter: So there you have it, my Facebook friend ... bringing a possible deserter home might not be a policy you like, and it might not be popular among all soldiers. But it's what we do. For The World, I'm Aaron Schachter.