Opinions & Editorials

Decorated Soldier or War Criminal 

MIT: Michaels Individual Thoughts

By Michael J Montalvo


Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher is being charged with war crimes, but President Trump is stepping in and is treating him as a hero as if Trump can’t see the mountain of hard evidence against Gallagher.

Gallagher is being accused of premeditated murder of a wounded teenage ISIS fighter under his care, shooting randomly into crowds, and shooting two civilians which includes a little girl and a senior man holding a water jug during Gallaghers 2017 deployment to Iraq. His platoon members also tampered with his sniper rifle so he couldn’t fire correctly while some of them even shot at citizens to scare them away before Gallagher had a chance to shoot them.

The Navy SEAL pleaded not guilty to all charges even though the NCIS(Naval Criminal Investigative Service) found text messages from Gallagher trying to obstruct justice and retaliate against junior sailors who ratted him out for war crimes

Although in the last week, Trump intervened and ordered him to be moved in a less restrictive confinement. Which -in my mind- says “President of United States treats accused war criminal fairly.”

What about innocent until proven guilty? Well that goes away when the NCIS finds a picture of you holding the decapitated head of the teenager ISIS fighter you just said you didn’t murder.

However he is a Navy SEAL, he has seen a lot of overseas action which points him to towards mental illness, more specifically PTSD(Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder).  There’s no evidence –yet– of him having PTSD or any relating mental illness of any kind, which the defense might change in order to give Gallagher little to no time behind bars when his trail begins on May 28, 2018.

This is when the system start to falter, PTSD can not become a excuse to murder and shoot at random citizens. Which Trump just can’t really process because of -you know- “ patriotism”.

People with mental illnesses has a stigma of being violent which is the not true in most cases. According to MentalHealth.gov, only 3%-5% of all violents acts can be attributed to people living with serious mental illness. Individuals who suffer from mental illnesses are also 10% more likely to be victims of violence acts than the aggressor.

In addition, substance abusers are among the highest percentage related violent acts. Unfortunately for Gallagher, on top of the murder charges there’s also drug charges that include powerful opioid tramadol hydrochloride that he took many times during deployment, as well as testosterone injections as early as June 2018.

Trump and 18 Republicans members ignored the facts and still backed up Gallagher calling him a decorated vet and a “hero”.

Decorated does not show the nobility of one’s character the work of heroism are good deeds that has a positive ripple effect that all started with you. True heroes like Medal of Honor recipients Hiroshi M. Miyamura, Richard Etchberger, and Clinton Romesha fit in that definition perfectly and probably wouldn’t like being in the same category as Gallagher.

While the is trail is still a month and a half away, Im thankful we still have real heroes in this story, and –unlike what Trump said– it isn’t Gallagher but the brave unanimous Navy SEALs who turned Gallagher in.

The Guardsman