This segment continues our series discussing Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's case, including the many personnel and management issues involved, as it's examined in the podcast "Serial."

In the second episode of season 2 of Serial, "The Golden Chicken," which went live on Dec. 17, we heard about what happened in the aftermath of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's disappearance. Perhaps most prominently discussed was the exhaustive, grueling 90-day search for him that demoralized troops across Afghanistan.

Soldiers from numerous companies and battalions, beyond those to which Bergdahl belonged, were charged with finding him at any cost — and the cost was great. Teams fanned out across the country, spending as long as 37 days at a time living out of trucks as they patrolled remote regions of the country searching for Bergdahl amid deplorable conditions. It was a dangerous undertaking: As many as 80 percent of the mine-resistant ambush protected (MRAP) assault vehicles used by Bergdahl's battalion in Afghanistan at the time were damaged in the search, according to Serial.

As the operational tempo doubled, sometimes tripled, in the search, all other operations came to a halt — even the search for Osama bin Laden, sources said in the podcast. Planning was difficult because nobody knew how long the search would go on, or what the latest pieces of intelligence would reveal — or if that intelligence even was valid.

The impact on personnel was significant, and it was brutal, as interview after interview in the podcast revealed.

The troops searching for Bergdahl "knew, or were at least pretty confident, that Bowe had left [his post] voluntarily, and now they felt like they were going through hell on his behalf," Serial host Sarah Koenig said in the episode. "Most of the people I talked to about this time, they said the search inflicted such major damage on morale."

When one of Bergdahl's platoon mates, Shane Cross, "accidentally" shot himself in the foot on a brief break from searching, "the other guys saw it as a statement about how beaten down they were, how they'd all had enough," Koenig said.