Bowe Bergdahl’s armed forces troubles started in 2006, when he was discharged from the Coast Guard for “psychological reasons,” leading to the question: How did he end up in the Army? One explanation is that not many people wanted to fight in the Iraq War. When Bergdahl enlisted in 2008, the Army was busy lowering its recruitment standards.

Friends of Bergdahl’s said he was discharged after a few months in the Coast Guard, and as seen in letters and journals provided to The Washington Post, those troubles followed him to the Army. Bergdahl wrote of dark entries about Army life and his mental wellbeing. Three days before walking off his post, he wrote in a letter, “this life is too short to serve those who compromise value, and its ethics. i am done compromising.” The combination of psychological warning signs and evidence supporting allegations that Bergdahl deserted the Army means things just got even more complicated.

Bergdahl told his friends that he “faked” his psychological discharge to get out of the Coast Guard, and they couldn’t believe that the Army let him in. “I was like, ‘Why and how did you even get in?’” Kim Harrison, a close friend of Bergdahl’s, said to the Post. “‘How did they let you?’ I was furious.”