Only this past Sunday did the family learn that the commander had already been grabbed earlier in the day and that the unit had been ordered to continue on another mission.
The added mission was the ongoing search for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who had apparently slipped away from his post in July, leaving his body armor and weapon but taking a compass.
The Andrews family was told the truth by soldiers who had served with Andrews, including the sergeant he had saved by pushing him from harm’s way in his final living instant.
The soldiers further informed the family that they had been ordered not to reveal their true mission, lest it complicate the hunt for Bergdahl. They even had been forced to sign nondisclosure agreements.
With the news that Bergdahl had been freed, the soldiers felt they were themselves now free to tell the family the full story.
The official lie that the unit’s supposed mission had been to capture an enemy commander assumed a cruel irony with word that Bergdahl had been exchanged for five top Taliban commanders who had been grabbed earlier in the war.