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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

On the Next Episode of The Lead

Continuing coverage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. Plus, the latest on Mideast tensions.

Continuing coverage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. Plus, the latest on Mideast tensions.

June 2nd, 2014
05:34 PM ET

Fellow soldiers call Bowe Bergdahl a deserter, not a hero

By CNN chief Washington correspondent Jake Tapper

(CNN) – The sense of pride expressed by officials of the Obama administration at the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is not shared by many of those who served with him - veterans and soldiers who call him a deserter whose "selfish act" ended up costing the lives of better men.

"I was pissed off then and I am even more so now with everything going on," said former Sgt. Matt Vierkant, a member of Bergdahl's platoon when he went missing on June 30, 2009. "Bowe Bergdahl deserted during a time of war and his fellow Americans lost their lives searching for him." Vierkant said Bergdahl needs to not only acknowledge his actions publicly but face a military trial for desertion under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

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