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Bergdahl was discharged from US Coast Guard before Afghan tour

Published on Jun 12, 2014 7:03 AM
Supporters of freed prisoner of war US Army soldier Bowe Bergdahl including representatives of the ANSWER Coalition, CODEPINK and March Forward, rally in front of the White House in Washington, DC, June 10, 2014, to welcome Bergdahl home after 5-years of being held by the Taliban in Afghanistan. -- PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The American soldier released in a swap with the Taleban had been discharged from the US Coast Guard before he joined the army because he could not adapt to military life, officials said on Wednesday, June 11, 2014.

Even Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl's closest friends were dismayed when they learnt he had signed up for the army after his abbreviated stint in the US Coast Guard in 2006, The Washington Post reported.

Sgt Bergdahl went missing in 2009 during his deployment with US troops in eastern Afghanistan and was held by insurgents for nearly five years until he was released on May 31 in an exchange for five Taleban militants held at Guantanamo.

The circumstances around his disappearance in eastern Afghanistan have prompted speculation that he deserted his post.

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