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updated: 6/6/2014 12:18 PM

Bergdahl's hometown sidesteps desertion debate

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  • Sue Martin, a Bergdahl family friend and owner of Zaney's Coffee Shop in downtown Hailey, Idaho, leans on the counter in her shop watching the crowd of media on the street outside Thursday, June 5, 2014. Martin closed her shop following Bowe Bergdahl's release in a prisoner swap with the Taliban to focus on serving as the family spokesperson.

    Sue Martin, a Bergdahl family friend and owner of Zaney's Coffee Shop in downtown Hailey, Idaho, leans on the counter in her shop watching the crowd of media on the street outside Thursday, June 5, 2014. Martin closed her shop following Bowe Bergdahl's release in a prisoner swap with the Taliban to focus on serving as the family spokesperson.
    Associated Press

  • A donation bucket for the family of Bowe Bergdahl sits on the counter in Zaney's Coffee Shop in downtown Hailey, Idaho, Thursday, June 5, 2014.

    A donation bucket for the family of Bowe Bergdahl sits on the counter in Zaney's Coffee Shop in downtown Hailey, Idaho, Thursday, June 5, 2014.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

Bowe Bergdahl's hometown is accustomed to celebrity and the attention it brings. Singer-songwriter Carole King owns a ranch nearby. Bruce Willis has been trying to sell his 20-acre Hailey estate for years. But the release of the American soldier in a prisoner swap with the Taliban has drawn a less savory form of attention, surprising some townspeople who are more used to entertaining happy tourists than being part of a national debate.

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