Welcome Home Bowe:
Sorry about the inconvenience.
Now, I know that your family and your friends will be overjoyed to have you back. I am quite happy as well. I hope that it won't take to long to heal and that you can come all the way back soon.
But be aware that coming back the way that you did will be hard on you. It won't be nearly as hard as what you have been going through for the past couple of years, but it will become irritating in the extreme.
You see, when you started to figure out that you weren't in Afghanistan to "protect freedom and the American Way of Life", you started down the path to apostate. So you are, to lot of the couch-dwelling foreign policy hardasses, an inconvenient heretic. Because in the mind of the couch dwelling, an American serviceman who questions the mission is anathema.
When Obama traded you for five Taliban commanders, it was a great deal. We got you back and we got rid of five huge embarrassments. But the war-crazies will defile your name and reputation to make it known that (a) you should be questioning their wisdom and (b) that "Top Taliban Commanders" have been let go to strike again at the good old USA.
Let's examine these premises severally. Ask any Vietnam vet what he thought about the idea of a "domino-theory" and stopping the rise of Communism and you will probably get a snort of derision. Because anyone who has been in the furball realizes that it is only the folks around you that matter. The mission itself is nearly always stupid. The morals involved are questionable. The whole thing is just plain stupid.
This is when most folks who come the epiphany that war is a huge waste just start counting down the days and get the hell out of the military.
But you are probably a sincere young man, and you probably spoke the truth to those around you. That, while a correct and honorable thing to do, just made you a target. I don't know what was going on in your mind when you wandered off the laager, but any fault of action and any guilt from thought crimes has been erased by your extended stay with the Taliban.
As for the five "commanders" well, getting rid of them this way got rid of a fraction of the ongoing problem of the injustice of Guantanamo Bay. Big win there. As for the febrile concerns that they will "strike at the USA", well....
These guys have been at our tender mercies for 13 years. They have been out of the mix for that time and the Taliban has moved past them. The idea that they will return to take over their command from folks who have been commanding a very successful insurgency during their confinement is an odd one indeed. The current commanders will use them as propaganda tools, but after thirteen years in our clutches, I would question the idea that they will be given their old roles back.
Bowe: your release was a good thing, and I approve of it 100%. It is a good compromise where we win a lot more than we lose. But make sure that you don't spend too much time listening to the shit that talking heads say as they serve their political masters.