Sgt Bowe Bergdahl 'looked good' and saluted a commanding officer after arriving back in US
US officials said he was in uniform and spoke English upon his return
Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl “looked good” and saluted a commanding officer when he arrived back in the United States after being held captive by the Taliban for five years, military officials said.
The US soldier arrived at Brooke Army Medical Centre in San Antonio, Texas, on Friday morning, after recuperating at a German military hospital since 1 June.
Major General Joseph DiSalvo was present with a small contingent of officers to greet him as he arrived. He said Sgt Bergdahl was in uniform and spoke English, adding that he was in stable condition.
He told a news conference on Friday: "He appeared just like any sergeant would when they see a two-star general, a little bit nervous. But he looked good and saluted and had good deportment."
The American hostage was freed in exchange for five Taliban detainees in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He reportedly told officials at the hospital in Landstuhl, Germany, that he has been locked in a cage, beaten and tortured during his captivity.
His family has not joined him since he arrived at Brooke Army Medical Centre at Fort Sam Houston in Texas early Friday, and Army officials did not comment on when they would visit.
Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, sits in a vehicle guarded by the Taliban in eastern Afghanistan. Earlier, they issued a statement saying they were “overjoyed” that their son has returned to the United States, but did not intend to make any travel plans public.
Army psychologist Col. Bradley Poppen told the conference there was no timeline for the reintegration process, saying only that "we will proceed at his pace".
Officials also indicated Sgt. Bergdahl's speech had been impacted from being in captivity for so long. "Overall our assessment is that he did not have the opportunity the past five years to practice and speak his English," Col. Ronald Wool, who is in charge of his medical care, said.
In the short time he has been back on US soil, he has been on a bland diet and has shown a fondness for peanut butter, officials said.
Critics have publicly attacked Robert Bergdahl over what they say is his suspicious beard and his ‘attempt to claim the White House for Islam’.
He will have a "standard patient room" while at the Brooke Army Medical Centre but will not have access to a television.
"We will bring him up slowly to what has been transpiring over the last five years," Col. Wool added.
The Army has not formally begun a new review into the circumstances of Sgt Bergdahl's capture and whether he walked away without leave from his post or was deserting the Army when he was found and taken by insurgents in Afghanistan.
The answers to those questions will be key to whether Sgt Bergdahl will receive more than $300,000 (£177,000) in back pay owed to him since he disappeared. If he was determined to have been a prisoner of war, he also could receive roughly another $300,000 or more.
- 1 Isis burns thousands of books and rare manuscripts from Mosul's libraries
- 2 Scarlett Johansson new band 'already hit with legal complaint' from another The Singles
- 3 Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
- 4 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
- 5 'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamaphobia
Liam Gallagher brands Kanye West 'utter s**t' during BRIT Awards performance
Isis burns thousands of books and rare manuscripts from Mosul's libraries
Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
Mohammed Emwazi: Family of man named as 'Jihadi John' described by neighbours as 'normal Muslim family'
Mohammed Emwazi: Nine things we know about man named as Isis militant 'Jihadi John'
Oscars 2015: Birdman beats Boyhood as Eddie Redmayne and Patricia Arquette win big - as it happened
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
Aqsa Mahmood branded a 'disgrace' by her parents after claims she recruited three UK girls flying to Middle East
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
£23000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small, friendly, proactive...
£14500 - £22800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Software Developer is required to join a lea...
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: A first rate opportunity to join a top ranking...