Welcome home, Bowe Bergdahl.
I’m not talking about politics. I’m not talking about trades. I’m not talking about desertion, or treason, because you know what, there are plenty of people talking about every one of those things.
I’m talking about you, man and boy, an American, a soldier–friend and son and brother.
I’m talking about a boy who struggled with his deployment, wrote from the bitterness of his soul about the ugliness he saw, raged against colonial-style racism, walked away for a moment because … God knows why.
I’m talking about an American whose every known word has been thrown to judgment without a chance to speak any more words, who has been demonized and vilified by political bone-pickers; who doesn’t yet know that he’s hated, questioned and taunted before he even comes back to … God knows what.
I’m talking about a soldier who did everything he had to do to survive, until he almost forgot who he was–whose fragile life may still be undone by the cruelty of his own countrymen. God help him.
I’m talking about a friend who still has friends, a son who has parents, a brother to everyone who’s ever questioned injustice that he saw with his own eyes and heard with his own ears, even if he didn’t say it the way someone twenty years older might have said it.
I’m saying loud and clear, welcome home. With open arms, welcome home.
With one more word for the men and women with stones in their hands and stones for hearts:
“Go learn what this means: I will have mercy and not sacrifice.”