Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl unexpectedly took the stand at his sentencing hearing Monday — and choked up several times as he apologized to service members who were wounded in the years-long hunt to save him.
“I would like everyone who searched for me to know it was never my intention for anyone to be hurt, and I never expected that to happen,” he said during the hearing at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. “My words alone can’t take away their pain.”
He was the first witness for the defense, who hadn’t previously made it known that Bergdahl would address the court. It was his most extensive remarks in court yet.
Asked by a defense attorney what the worst part of captivity was, he responded that it wasn’t the beatings. “The worst was the constant, just the constant deterioration of everything. The constant pain from my body falling apart. The constant screams from my mind,” he said. “It was the years of waiting to see whether or not the next time someone opens the door if that would be the person coming to execute you.”
He gave an unsworn statement, meaning that the judge will consider it but Bergdahl won’t be cross-examined by the prosecutors. (Read more from “Bowe Bergdahl Gives Emotional Statement at Sentencing Hearing, Apologizes to Wounded Service Members” HERE)