U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, accused of deserting his post in Afghnistan before his capture by the Taliban, would have a much tougher road to a Presidental pardon, if an outcry by two Ocean County Freeholders is mirrored around the country.

Ocean County Freeholders Joe Vicari (l) and Gerry Little (r) bedeck the grave of Civil War veteran Lawrence Berrien of Toms River

Freeholders Gerry Little and Joe Vicari, in a message to President Barack Obama, seek no recourse for Bergdahl other than to face the charge, and, if guilty, the punishment.

Bergdahl seeks a full pardon in order to circumvent a court martial. The Obama admininstration extracted him from Taliban control by swapping five Guantanamo detainees.

“While this soldier is entitled to a fair military trial, we strongly feel that a pardon would send the wrong message to the thousands of U.S. troops who have put their lives on the line for the defense of their nation,” Little and Vicari said in the letter.

“Sgt. Bergdahl not only blatantly and willingly disobeyed orders from his superior officers, but his reckless action placed other soldiers at risk as they tried to locate him when he initially went missing.”

Vicari and Little said that they issued their statements on behalf of veterans, more of whom live in Ocean County than in any other of New Jersey's 21 counties.

“On behalf of these brave men and women who have worn the uniform of the United States Armed Forces, we respectfully request that you deny Sgt. Bergdahl’s request for a pardon,” Little and Vicari wrote.

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