11:23 AM EDT, June 6, 2014
Two former soldiers who served with Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl are now speaking out to INSIDE EDITION.
Sergeant Matt Vierkant and specialist Cody Full were part of Bergdahl's platoon in Afghanistan.
INSIDE EDITION's Diane McInerney asked, "What was Bergdahl like?"
Cody Full replied, "He was very reserved. He didn't reveal a lot about hismelf."
Matt Vierkant said, "From what I saw, mostly just kept to himself, wanted to keep to himself. He wanted to be alone. He didn't want to go out with anyone in the platoon, didn't ask them to. Wasn't really interested in making any real friendships with most of the people."
They've been outspoken critics since Bergdahl was released by the Taliban, saying he deserted his post in the middle of the night.
McInerney asked, "When you saw that video of him being released, how did you think he looked?"
Vierkant said, "I actually thought he looked pretty healthy. I thought he looked pretty good considering the conditions he's been under."
They blame him for the deaths of six U.S. soldiers who went searching for him, an allegation that some in the Pentagon have questioned.
Full said, "I can't prove that he caused the deaths of the Americans, but, without Bergdahl going missing, those soldiers wouldn't have been on a mission looking for him."
Video of Bergdahl's platoon in Afghanistan was shot by an embedded TV crew in 2009.
A classified Army investigation reportedly concluded "(Bergdahl) had wandered away from assigned areas before--both at a training range in California and at his remote outpost in Afghanistan--and then returned." [Source: The New York Times]
Vierkant said, "Hindsight being 20/20 and looking back on it, different things that he said that we thought, of that's kind of weird, at the time."
"Like what?" asked McInerney.
"He told me, 'I could see myself being lost in those mountains,' in Afghanistan," answered Veirkant.
National Security Advisor Susan Rice has faced withering criticism for saying this about Bergdahl right after he was released: "He served the United States with honor and distinction."
She's now defending her comment in a Friday interview with CNN, saying, "What I was referring to was the fact that this was a young man who volunteered to serve his country in uniform at a time of war. That in itself, is a very honorable thing."
McInerney asked Veirkant and Full, "National Security Advisor Rice has come out saying that he's served his country honorably. How do you react to that?"
Full replied, "How is deserting your fellow men honorable?"