America's Only POW Rescued, But At What Cost?

Fellow soldiers are accusing Bowe Bengdahl of being a deserter after his controversial rescue.
7:50 | 06/03/14

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Transcript for America's Only POW Rescued, But At What Cost?
Every day I wanted to go home five long years after that first -- of life video. Release -- leads. Bring me home. Army sergeant Boe per -- the last known American Prisoner of War got his wish this weekend he wasn't for gun -- country. Because the United States of America does not ever leave our men and women in uniform behind. Okay. His father showed that your institution into the sudden. -- speaking to reporters in an emotional news conference he still hasn't spoken directly to his son. And I want you know that I love you. I'm proud of you I'm proud. Development he wanted to help the Afghan people. And what you were willing to do. But that is where the fairy tale version of this war story ends tonight some are questioning -- dole service even calling him a deserter a fact of -- matter is. Is he deserted us. In the middle of Afghanistan to go and find the Taliban. Former army sergeant -- Buteau was broad Dole's team leader tonight he and other soldiers who served with for adults say. His actions cost American lives. US military launched a massive search and missions were changed in the wake of his capture. People calling him a hero and people calling him this. This great soldier and it's a spit in the face to. One all the soldiers who were there and more importantly it's a spit in the face to the soldiers who died as a direct result to him leaving. Okay. Adding fuel to the outrage the close to his release. US handed over five high level Taliban fighters in exchange for bird doll you have to be concerned not only about the principle of negotiating with terrorists but -- -- five who were released in exchange for -- or else. The Taliban immediately claimed a great victory even posting a video of a hero's welcome. After all these are no ordinary prisoners they are high ranking Taliban described previously as. Too dangerous to be set free and likely to rejoin the Taliban. The detainees are living in the midst of luxury in Qatar and -- Taliban Villa. There was no sign they were in custody or under guard their families were flown in to be with them and the only known condition imposed by the US was that they not travel. Outside of cuts are. For at least a year. Didn't pretty lust in my life so who always spoke bird -- the POW who was hardly a household name until now. He grew up in rural -- Idaho was home schooled by his mother -- and studied ballet for years. For -- decided to join the army in 2008. And the following year was sent to Afghanistan. Even before his capture he grew disillusioned with the war effort and later in this video posted to YouTube during his time in captivity he voices his concern. -- -- -- -- The waste of human life that is costs both Afghanistan and US he was definitely upset and frustrated with. The war effort and how how we're handling our business. He was taken by the Taliban after allegedly walking off base without permission and without his weapon. Though today a Defense Department spokesperson said the military has never officially stated that -- -- walked away from his post. Adding that preliminary investigations were all missing. -- -- side of the story. His parents knew almost nothing beyond these videos first their son in Afghan clothing eating -- leader in uniform even exercising. His father Bob not content to just watch taught himself about those captors their language culture. And even took to YouTube to address the Taliban directly. Salaam Polycom but what he didn't know what no one could was what -- was going through during that half decade. To find out we spoke to two members of that rarest of fraternities. Former prisoners of the Taliban who actually live to talk about it. I knew I was gonna target that I had a very strange experience I -- -- -- reviewed my entire life much talked with school days from the first thing when I got married. You see your whole life this is death. Brought -- you this wisdom this insightful take him outside and in my case I thought my -- was going to be count. Former New York Times reporter David Rhode was captured by a similar group once your brought into this remote corner of Pakistan you realize. You could be held for years and years and years. And you don't know when it's gonna and and your very afraid in the -- for game. -- always believed to be held by operatives from the Haqqani Network which is affiliated with the Taliban and al-Qaeda. I was told I was gonna be executed next day Lincoln knows all too well what -- doll faced with the haqqani Taliban. -- enough quote a problem with her mind fertile cannot be shot in the head instead. And they these tough and had a little conference huddle and they can that's no problem is that of cutting the -- you can be shall. The filmmaker was captured in 2008 and held in a dorm room for four months to my captivity I set my clock to London time. Participate my children everything -- -- talk about close my -- it's. -- -- -- -- And in my I could see America feel -- Journalist David -- who spent eight months in Taliban captivity before -- daring escape says he spent much of his time. Inside his own mind. I thought I -- -- specifically on on holidays are relives moments from the marriage to between me and my wife our honeymoon together. You -- these earlier periods of your life as a way to -- opened just. Get through the day you break down each day into a little struggle to just try to somehow keep going. But for -- it turned out captivity. It was the easy part. The real struggle is not in captivity surviving it is when you released. And that's when the real struggle -- the zone coming home. Back home to three -- off my release. Every night for six months are -- to see images of death had been headings about -- in the cold -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- A lot of guilt failings frankly and hostages and I'm sure that something -- is actually struggle -- But bird always held prisoner for far longer than these journalists in the remote mountains of eastern Afghanistan. A landscape that those father -- pointed out actually looks pretty similar to his hometown of Hayley Idaho. And that may help -- -- what the military likes to call a soft landing. Back home. Video obtained by the guardian newspaper shows -- father and -- tent near his home. In woods where -- used to hike he says his son could possibly find solitude here we set this up for him. There's no timetable for his recovery but -- -- parents say they are up for the challenge. Before he returns home -- -- under evaluation and treatment at a military hospital in Germany. Give yourself all the time we need to recover and decompress. There's no -- You happy life ahead of the -- The long road back to health is tough for any Prisoner of War but for her adult perhaps even more difficult. Because of the questions his return has unleashed. At home. For Nightline I'm Neal Karlinsky in Haley Idaho.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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