The family of a soldier from Dallas killed in Afghanistan five years ago says they have learned he died trying to rescue fellow soldier Bowe Bergdahl, freed on May 31, in a controversial exchange for five Taliban leaders.
When 2nd Lt. Darryn Andrews was killed in 2009, the military said that he died when his convoy was ambushed.
"Our understanding was they were on a mission to capture a Taliban leader,” said Andrews’ twin brother Jarrett, a Dallas attorney.
Jarrett Andrews said other members of his brother’s unit finally told the family over the weekend the true mission — that they were trying to find Bergdahl. He said they revealed the information because they were frustrated that Bergdahl is being called a hero when he chose to walk away from his base.
"It's frustrating we weren't told, it appears initially, the full story about what happened,” Jarrett Andrews said. "The idea that Darren could still be alive if Bergdahl had not left his post, that's the anger for me."
The controversy over whether Bergdahl should be treated as a hero has erupted on the Facebook page of his home unit in Alaska.
"Good. Now he can stand trial for deserting his post," one man wrote.
"Do you know how many families never saw their loved ones because of him?" asked another.
Other comments take the opposing view.
"I find the actions of the members denigrating the heroic Sgt. Bergdahl to be extraordinarily offensive,” one writer said. “He is your brother-in-arms. You should be ashamed."
The Pentagon has said it is still trying to determine the facts surrounding Bergdahl's disappearance. News accounts at the time indicated he walked off his base with only a compass and a bottle of water.
Jarrett Andrews said his anger and frustration are mixed with other feelings.
"At the end of the day none of this is going to bring Darren back and that's kind of where, this is kind of where it all begins and ends from my perspective,” he said.
He described his brother, who coached junior high school football in Euless before joining the Army, as a “big guy” with a “big personality” and strong opinions.
He also said his brother would not have approved of any deal that traded known terrorists for a soldier.
"He would not question the orders to look for Bergdahl and he would do it again, even knowing it would cost him his life,” Jarrett Andrews said. “But to know that the ultimate result was the result of five terrorists would not sit well with him."
NBC News Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski contributed to this report.