Last week, a military judge decided against giving Army soldier Bowe Bergdahl a prison sentence. Even though he pleaded guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, Bergdahl was granted leniency by Army Colonel Jeffery Nance.
But the judge did say the Army solider should be dishonorably discharged, which would exclude him from receiving medical benefits from the Veterans Administration.
According to former Marine judge advocate James Weirick, a higher military authority could decide against that, and choose from four other discharge statuses available.
“It’s not like every soldier’s going to see this ruling and say, ‘Now I can leave my post with absolutely no repercussions.' Because Bergdahl spent four years in captivity of the Haqqani network that visited quite a few repercussions on him. “
Bergdahl has nerve damage from years of torture and captivity by the Taliban affiliate that held him. His lawyers have argued his physical and mental health require lifetime medical access through the VA.
Find reporter Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill
Copyright 2017 Boise State Public Radio