Master Sergeant Mark Allen was on a mission in Afghanistan back in July 2009 when he was shot in the head. Though nonfatal, the wound left him confined to a wheelchair permanently and he loss of the ability to speak. The mission’s purpose was to locate U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who had abandoned his post a few day earlier. Bergdahl was captured by the Taliban after deserting his station but the circumstances under which Bergdahl went missing has been the topic of issue in this case. Mark Allen was part of the team responsible for searching for Bergdahl after his capture that eventually retrieved him in May of 2014.
Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl was later found and plead guilty to the charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. The 31 year old Idaho military man faces a potential ruling of life in prison, as well as a dishonorable discharge. Though Bergdahl admitted to his wrongdoing, he continues to state that the never intended to put anyone, especially his fellow soldiers, at risk. Sergeant Bergdahl continued his defense, stating that he had “planned to go to a nearby base to report ‘critical problems’ in his chain of command” but got lost and this resulted with him being captured by the Taliban. One of the Sergeant’s lawyers, Major Oren Gleich, has made the argument that the amount of blame placed on his client should have a limit and should not be responsible for “a never-ending chain of causes and effects.” However, the comments he made appeared to fall on mostly deaf ears.
Many political leaders in Washington as well as members of Allen’s platoon have expressed extreme criticism about the whole situation, noting how dangerous the search for Bergdahl was, as well as the actual prisoner swap with the Taliban arranged in 2014. Throughout the trial, many emotional testimonies were given by U.S. service members describing “the risks and hardships they faced after Bergdahl walked off his combat outpost in Paktika province in June 2009.”
In a trial that has been going on for a few years, the prosecution’s last witness is the wife of the Master Sergeant. The testimony from Allen’s wife as well as his doctors, is speculated to include the severe effects the gunshot wound had on the Master Sergeant.
The defense is prepared to present its own testimonies of Bergdahl’s suffering while in captivity, to hopefully lower the potential life sentence to a more lenient one.