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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

NFL's Roger Goodell to hold a press conference, the first in 9 days. We'll have the latest.

NFL's Roger Goodell to hold a press conference, the first in 9 days. We'll have the latest.

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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