Thursday, June 5, 2014

"You'll Need to Relearn How to Be a Person": A Letter to Bowe Bergdahl From a Fellow Former Hostage

When I came home after 26 months in captivity, I didn't know how hard it is to be free again.

—By Shane Bauer | Wed Jun. 5, 2014 

Mother Jones reporter Shane Bauer, who was held hostage in Iran for 26 months, pens a letter to Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was released by the Taliban this weekend after five years of captivity. Bauer writes: 

"Bowe Bergdahl, you are now free, but many of your problems are just beginning. You have left a world of extreme isolation and entered one that is vastly more complex. It will be hard for you to adjust. Anyone who spends a significant amount of time as a prisoner comes out handicapped. This would be true whether you were held by the Taliban or anyone else. And along with all that, you will have to cope with being an odd celebrity.

"When you get back to the United States, people will ask you over and over, in confidential and heartfelt tones, how you are doing. When they ask, they will look you in the eyes to show you they understand. You will not be able to give an answer that feels true, possibly because you will grow annoyed with such questions, but also because 'great' and 'awful' will probably both be true at once, though you won't really understand the awful part." [READ MORE]

See also: The Real Villains of the Bergdahl Tale