Army Says It Will Not Punish P.O.W. Captured While AWOL (Richard Springman)

When Pvt. Ferdinand Rodriguez of Brooklyn arrived at Valley Forge General Hospital on a stretcher 22 days ago after nearly five years as a prisoner of war, his infirmities were listed as malaria, exhaustion and apprehension.

The apprehension eased considerably Wednesday when Defense Department aides told him that he would not be courtmartialed or otherwise punished for having gone AWOL in 1968 and being captured by the Vietcong.

Col. William S. Mullins said at the Army hospital Thursday that it could be assumed that the Defense Department considered Private Rodriguez’s long imprisonment sufficient punishment.

Whether the 24‐year‐old soldier will receive the promotions withheld because he left his company without leave has not been determined, Colonel MulTins said.

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