Bowe Bergdahl's Hometown Cancels Celebration

06/04/2014 04:54 pm ET | Updated Jun 11, 2014

The town of Hailey, Idaho has canceled a celebration planned for the return of U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl, the last known American prisoner of war in Afghanistan who was released to U.S. special forces last weekend.

After news broke of Bergdahl's recovery, the town began preparing a welcome home party, renaming an annual event called "Bring Bowe Back" scheduled for June 28 to "Bowe is Back." The city administrator said the town has canceled those plans, according to Reuters.

Amid reports from fellow soldiers that Bergdahl was a deserter, town officials began receiving angry calls from people who didn't think a celebration was warranted for his return.

Jane Drussel, the president of the Hailey Chamber of Commerce, has been fielding dozens of angry calls.

"Well, (I feel) disappointment number one, just absolutely total surprise at how bad some of them are," she told NBC News on Tuesday.


She said the staffers at the Chamber of Commerce, and at a store she runs, don't know how to deal with the vitriol.

"(We're) really surprised at the people who are calling — they are hate calls, they’re not just people voicing an opinion," she said. "The girls just don’t even... we’re all just absolutely in shock, we don’t know how to respond to that to tell you quite truthfully."

Gen. Martin Dempsey said the Army may consider pursuing an investigation of possible charges of desertion or other violations by Bergdahl.

Read more on Bergdahl and the controversy surrounding his recovery.

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