Bowe Bergdahl is the American soldier who was recently released by the Taliban in a trade for 5 of their own. His parents were happy at first, but now they're not so happy. One of his mother's friends says:
'"She puts on a smile but you can tell she's suffering in all this," O'Neill said, without offering an explanation for why Bergdahl had not spoken to his parents. "She doesn't understand – how could any mother understand? – why her child literally won't take her phone calls."'
If I had to guess, he's ashamed. I'm not even saying he's necessarily right to be ashamed. But some captors go out of their way to humiliate you, to crush your spirit, to make you feel that you have betrayed your deepest loyalties. It can be hard to face your parents after that.
Of course, to his mom, he's still her little boy,
and she can't understand why he doesn't call her with joy.