Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl moved to outpatient care in Texas
(CNN) — Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, released from Taliban captivity last month, has been moved from inpatient care at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio to outpatient treatment for reintegration and medical care at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, the Army said Sunday.
It is the latest step in the reintegration process for Bergdahl, who was held captive for five years and released in exchange for the transfer of five prisoners from Guantanamo Bay.
He is the seventh person to go through the Army’s reintegration program but the first junior enlisted person to do so. The program began at Brooke Army Medical Center in 2006. That’s where Bergdahl arrived on June 13.
Previous captives have completed their reintegration in a week to 10 days before returning to their families or occupations.
Bergdahl was at the medical center for 10 days, but his reintegration process will extend beyond that with the outpatient care at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston.
“His reintegration process continues with exposure to more people and a gradual increase of social interactions,” the Army said in a statement. “Debriefings and counseling from Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) psychologists continue to ensure he progresses to the point where he can return to duty.”
Bergdahl went missing on June 30, 2009, in Afghanistan’s Paktika province, where he was deployed with the 1st Battalion, 501st Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division.
Several veterans and soldiers call him a deserter who walked off his base.
An Army fact-finding investigation conducted in the months after his disappearance concluded he left his outpost deliberately and of his own free will, according to an official who was briefed on the report.
The Army has no definitive finding that Bergdahl deserted because that would require knowing his intent — something officials couldn’t learn without talking to the soldier, a U.S. military official told CNN.
The military has assigned Maj. Gen. Kenneth Dahl to conduct an investigation and said that Dahl will not interview Bergdahl until the reintegration team approves.
CNN’s Barbara Starr and Martin Savidge contributed to this report.