SAN ANTONIO – In the moments after Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl arrived back in the United States following five years of captivity by the Taliban in Afghanistan, he was nervous but looked good and saluted a commanding officer who welcomed him home, military officials said Friday.
Bergdahl is working daily with health professionals to regain a sense of normalcy and move forward with his life, officials added.
Bergdahl’s family has not joined him since he arrived at Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston in Texas after midnight Friday, and Army officials would not say when relatives might show up.
In a statement read at a news conference Friday, Bergdahl’s parents said they are overjoyed that their son has returned to the United States but asked for privacy.
Maj. Gen. Joseph P. DiSalvo, who greeted Bergdahl on his arrival from an Army medical facility in Germany, said he exchanged a few words with Bergdahl after a three-vehicle convoy met him.
He appeared just like any sergeant would when they see a two-star general, a little bit nervous. But he looked good and saluted and had good deportment, DiSalvo said at the news conference, adding that Bergdahl was in stable condition.
Officials said there is no timeline for the final step in Bergdahl’s reintegration process.
We will proceed at his pace, said Col. Bradley Poppen, an Army psychologist.
As far as Bergdahl’s interaction with relatives, Poppen said a soldier typically determines when to reunite with his or her family.
Poppen declined to release further details.
Military officials declined to give details on what Bergdahl might remember about his capture or what he knows about the public uproar surrounding his capture and release.
The Idaho native was captured in Afghanistan in June 2009 and released by the Taliban on May 31 in a deal struck by the Obama administration in which five senior Taliban officials were released from detention at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Bergdahl had been at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany since June 1.
The Army has not formally begun a new review into the circumstances of Bergdahl’s capture and whether he walked away without leave or was deserting the Army when he was found and taken by insurgents.