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Military and Defense
In 2014 Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was freed from captivity to the relief of his supporters in Idaho. But another tide turned: those who had waited for this day found themselves caught in political crossfire and lacking the broad support they had leaned on when he had been a P.O.W. Northwest News Network told the story of Hailey, Idaho and Bergdahl's family before and after his release in 2014.

Idaho Commissioner Asks Media, American Public To Back Off

A county commissioner in Blaine County, Idaho, is asking critics of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl to give Bergdahl's hometown some space. That includes members of the media. The commissioner says the town of Hailey is tired of being the target of people’s “misguided rage” over the former POW.

County Commissioner Larry Shoen says not only the Bergdahl family but some community members have received personal threats.

For nearly five years, Hailey, Idaho, was draped in yellow ribbons and "Bring Bowe Home" signs.

Since Bergdahl’s release, the town has been caught up in the controversy about whether Bergdahl walked away from his post in 2009.

Shoen said the community supports the return of its native son to his family. Shoen asked that the military justice system be allowed to take its course. And he urged reporters stop bothering people in town.

"I think people have answered all the questions, have expressed themselves honestly and forthrightly, but I think it's time to get back to normal life," he said.

Hailey canceled its planned welcome home celebration amid the backlash over Bergdahl's release. Meanwhile, a new Gallup poll shows that half of Americans don't have an opinion about the 28-year-old Army sergeant. Most of those who do have a negative view.