The family of a Dallas soldier killed in action says they were in disbelief over the sentence of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.
Bergdahl pleaded guilty in October to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.
He faced up to life in prison. Instead, a judge sentenced him to be dishonorably discharged and to a reduction in rank.
Sondra and Andy Andrews, the parents of Darryn Andrews, say they were devastated at the news Bergdahl will serve no time in jail.
Bergdahl Receives Dishonorable Discharge, No Prison Time
“I just feel like our country has abandoned us,” said Andy Andrews.
Darryn Andrews died after the Taliban ambushed his convoy in Afghanistan in 2009. He tackled three of his comrades to protect them from being struck by a rocket-propelled grenade.
Andrews was awarded numerous posthumous medals.
It wasn’t until five years after his death that his parents discovered what they now believe really happened — that Andrews died searching for Bowe Bergdahl.
“I was really upset,” Sondra Andrews said.
The revelation, the Andrewses say, came from members of Darryn's unit who came forward after Bergdahl was released from Taliban captivity. They were upset Bergdahl was being called a hero even though he deserted his post.
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“The men called us and said this will not stand and we're going to make sure that people know the truth,” Andy Andrews said.
The military has never confirmed whether Andrews, or any soldier, were killed searching for Bergdahl.
The Andrewses never lost hope their son would get justice and it seemed that would happen when Bergdahl pleaded guilty.
Then came the sentence.
“It hurts to think that he gave his life serving and he's getting no respect,” Sondra said.
The Andrewses believe their son may still be alive if Bergdahl did not desert his post, and they feel he should be held accountable.
“I just feel so helpless,” Andy said.
Despite overwhelming frustration, the Andrewses say they remain strong for Darryn's twin brother Jarrett, for his two children Daylan and Jacey and for Andy, who’s battling cancer.
They say they still have faith that, one day, they will find justice.
“God has the final say,” Sondra said.
Bergdahl apologized to the soldiers wounded while looking for him but never addressed anyone who died.
In addition to a dishonorable discharge and a rank reduction, Bergdahl was also fined $10,000. He can appeal.