HAILEY, ID (CNN) - Beyond the political controversy of swapping prisoners with the Taliban, a military controversy has also arisen with the freeing of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.
Yellow balloons and yellow ribbons now decorate Hailey, ID, as the town awaits a hometown soldier.
Bergdahl spent nearly five years in captivity, but some fellow soldiers say that doesn't make him a hero.
"Being alone then walking far away and then getting captured: that's pretty much on him," said Mark Vierkant, who served with Bergdahl.
At least six soldiers died while searching for Bergdahl, and many of those who served with him say the only explanation for his disappearance is that he intentionally left his unit behind and wandered off.
"Six of my best friends are now dead in direct relation to this man, who is now being acclaimed a national hero by the president of the United States, and he is not," Joseph Cox said. "He is a traitor. He deserted his unit in a combat zone."
Others, such as Rear Admiral John Kirby, don't concern themselves with the how and the why.
"It doesn't matter the circumstances in which you were taken captive," he said. "It doesn't matter whether it was due to your own negligence or enemy action. It doesn't matter. If you're held captive by forces we are at war with, we're going to do all we can do get you back. That's an obligation we have."
A U.S. official says as special forces carried Bergdahl away from his captors in a helicopter, he broke down crying when they told him they'd been looking for him for a long time.
It's been a long wait for the roughly 8,000 residents of Hailey, who wait for him to recover and finally return home.
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