HAILEY, Idaho, June 4 (UPI) -- Neighbors of returned POW Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl are shocked to find their hometown at the center of a national controversy instead of celebration.
While residents of Hailey, Idaho, were planning for a joyous reunion upon Bergdahl's homecoming, they are now at the center of debates about U.S. foreign policy, the Obama administration and the merit of Bergdahl's service.
"It was just such a joyful, happy moment. And then after Sunday, there seemed to be a turn," Jane Drussel, who owns an art supply store in downtown Hailey, told local public radio.
For the duration of Bergdahl's imprisonment in a Taliban POW camp, Drussel patrolled Main Street ensuring the yellow ribbons hanging in Bergdahl's honor were straight and the faded ones replaced. Now she's subject to angry calls, Facebook posts and tweets accusing Bergdahl of being a traitor.
"I have safety concerns," Drussel said. "I just never have seen a turn of events happen so fast where you have such nasty remarks being made. I really am shocked."
Police Chief Jeff Gunter said the town will proceed with welcome celebrations as planned.
"It's about them getting their son back," Gunter said. "It's about their son being captive."
"And all this other stuff -- I understand there's other things in play. But I'm just happy he's going to be reunited with his family. And we're not judging one way or the other. There's a process for that."
Military officials are currently investigating whether the circumstances of Bergdahl's capture stemmed from misconduct on his part.