This week on Serial, we have a two-parter with part one airing Thursday February 18th and part two on Friday, February 19th. So get ready for a double header.
Sarah begins by wondering if she really thinks he is telling the truth or not, but a single tent causes her some doubt. Sarah asked some of Bowe’s platoon mates what they thought of his story. The fellow soldiers didn’t think leadership was bad or putting them in unnecessary danger as Bowe claimed. Most of his fellow platoon mates believed that he abandoned them to join up with the Taliban. The way he did it didn’t make it seem like he was scared of them. Bowe also ate with the Afghan police, which others did too, but not as frequently as Bowe. Some intel even said two of the Afghan police went missing too so that could have meant Bowe had made a deal and had them as guides. No one can confirm that this was real.
Mark asked Bowe what he thought about that rumor and he said that you can’t trust anyone so, no.
Some soldiers mentioned that Bowe sometimes said things about just walking away, even back in Alaska. So, it wasn’t that farfetched to believe that he abandoned his post on purpose. The soldiers then went on to speak to how they can say very crazy things when they’re out there. They often relied on dark humor, so it was possible that Bowe was just saying things. Luckily, Dahl, who was investigating it, believed he was leaving for the reasons he claimed not because he was just leaving. He didn’t bring enough supplies for someone running away and he sent his personal things stateside because in his mind, he’d be home to speak with a General.
Sarah went on to begin looking into Bowe’s past, all the way back. Bowe goes on to speak about how he grew up alone, homeschooled and playing in the woods. Later on Bowe met Kim who encouraged him to take fencing classes. Kim was the one who went to Interpol for help when Bowe went missing. She spoke about how shy Bowe was as a teenager. Later her family opened a hangout place where Bowe worked but he mostly watched people like security and he hid weapons around the place.
Bowe felt that you have to protect or help anyone you are capable of helping. Bowe felt like he was responsible for the world and didn’t think people who didn’t go by his high standards operated. Bowe went on to figure out what to do with his life and after going down South to train with military guys, he decided that is what he wanted to do.
After some job failures, Bowe went for the military. Bowe tried the Coast Guard first but buckled under the stresses and sent very worrisome letters to Kim and family. One day, he showed up back at Kim’s shop and he said that he was sent out because of a psych evaluation. He said he faked it though Kim wasn’t so sure. So, eventually he went to the Army to prove himself after another failure. Before he could join the Army, he needed a special waiver due to the psych eval, which was approved.
Note, these were frequently being approved in 2008 due to the lack of soldiers.