Three U.S. soldiers held captive in Serbia for 32 days may be free, but they still have a long road before their lives return to normal.
The three will undergo a series of medical and psychological examinations at a U.S. military hospital in Germany. They will also undergo an extensive debriefing by U.S. military intelligence personnel, where they will be asked about their mission before their capture and what happened when they were in captivity.
Retired Col. Mitch Mitchell who is now a CBS News Military Consultant, tells CBS This Morning Co-Anchor Jane Robelot that the soldiers are at Landstuhl Regional Hospital, where they immediately began receiving medical care. In addition to the physical exams, the soldiers will also be given a number of psychological tests to determine how they handled themselves, especially in isolation.
"Sgt. Stone had made some comments when he was in Zagreb that seemed to indicate he had some sympathy for his captors," Mitchell says. "I think he was concerned about the larger picture, [but] they'll inquire about that, about whether anyone tried to brainwash him."
The debriefing will be an interrogation, Mitchell says, but it will be very low key. "The sessions don't last long at all," Mitchell explains. "They'll ask how they were captured, what the conditions were. They want to know the attitudes of the Serbian guards around them."
He says the information obtained from the three will be used to piece together a clearer picture of what is going on in Serbia. But Mitchell adds that it's unlikely the soldiers know too much; otherwise, Milosevic would have been more hesitant to release them.
Once they're through, the soldiers have the option of immediately returning to their unit in Macedonia. But it's more likely that they'll be placed on leave for a while to spend time with their families.