BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel met with more than a dozen members of the special operations team that participated in the rescue of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl (boh BURG'-dahl), an American soldier held by the Taliban.
Hagel and the special ops team met quietly in a separate part of a hangar where he also spoke to a large group of U.S. troops.
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, right, walks on the tarmac with U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan James Cunningham, left, during his arrival to Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan, Sunday, June 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, POOL)
According to a U.S. official, Hagel thanked them and told them they represented the true spirit of never leaving a comrade behind.
They largely kept out of sight. But as the special operations forces walked past their body armor and occasional beards and less clean-cut looks made it evident who they were.
Hagel told them that while they participated in an important mission they do many other jobs that often go unrecognized.