On his last combat deployment to Iraq in 2017, Eddie led a platoon to successfully defeat ISIS in Mosul. For his performance and leadership, he was highly commended upon returning home. He was named the #1 Navy SEAL Chief, nominated for a Silver Star, and slated for promotion to Senior Chief. He was then awarded a coveted training billet for his ‘twilight tour’ as a SEAL, where in his last years in the SEAL teams he would bestow his experience and knowledge to future SEAL team members as they prepared to deploy.
However, despite this record of success and a sterling reputation, a conflict he thought was resolved during his last deployment followed him home. Chief Gallagher and his family suffered in silence for well over a year at the hands of a mounting whisper campaign started by a small group of disgruntled junior members of his platoon who had been called out by him as cowards on deployment. They were unwilling to keep up with his demands as an aggressive team leader and chief, and turned to deceit in order to escape scrutiny.
The mutiny and ensuing whisper campaign grew into a hellish process, spiraling out of control. Ed was notified he was under investigation months after returning home but naively assumed his command and investigators would see through the absurdity of what was being said. After all, the claims of this small group defied eyewitnesses, logic, and were downright outrageous.
Then, on September 11, 2018 he was arrested and unjustly charged with war crimes. Nearly eight months of pre-trial confinement -- being locked in prison before your court date -- followed.
Only after a national outcry, a grassroots campaign led by his family, and an intense legal battle was Eddie found not guilty. He was finally free – proven innocent – but came dangerously close to being crushed by a military justice system corrupted by political correctness, careerism, and incompetence.
The magnitude and terror of the ordeal that Eddie and his family went through will never leave them. During a raid, Eddie and Andrea’s kids were taken out at gunpoint from their home and dragged into the street in their underwear. He was arrested from a TBI (traumatic brain injury) treatment clinic and thrown in jail with a prison population of convicted sex offenders for eight months before his trial. He was denied desperately-needed medical care, legal counsel, and even basic necessities like food and hygiene.
The actions of the government - the very Navy Eddie served for 20 years - were appalling. They illegally leaked to the media to smear Eddie in the court of public opinion. They withheld exculpatory evidence. They spied on his legal counsel. Then, after being defeated, the Navy leadership had the gall to bestow achievement medals -- the same kind that Eddie was awarded for valor in combat -- to the corrupt prosecutors for losing their case.
The Gallagher family tragically learned how broken the system is, that our service members and first responders can be unfairly and unjustly targeted, and how vital outside help can be in fighting back against this kind of corruption. They vowed, having lived through the terror of his case and escaping injustice, they would commit themselves to helping others in similar situations and fight to reform a broken system.