Navy SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher’s story has been told before, but no one had tried to capture it on video – until now.
A documentary is in the making, and it sets out to tell the truth about the entire case, including what happens after Gallagher’s much-anticipated trial, set to begin May 28, according to Gregg Phillips, founder of Time for a Hero.
“Navy SEAL in the Crosshairs – The Eddie Gallagher Story” is being produced by Phillips and others from the nonprofit Time for a Hero, which fully funds traumatic brain injury (TBI) treatments for Special Operations Forces (SOF) veterans.
Watch the 90-second trailer here:
“The reason we did this was for the Gallaghers,” Phillips told American Military News. “It’s an incredibly gratifying thing for us. It’s a small thing, it doesn’t make a giant difference – but it might.”
Gallagher, 39 and a 15-year Navy SEAL, is charged with premeditated murder, accused of stabbing and killing a critically wounded ISIS fighter during a 2017 deployment to Mosul. He is also accused of shooting at unarmed civilians. He was arrested on Sept. 11, 2018, and was held in Naval Consolidated Brig Miramar in San Diego for more than seven months before President Donald Trump took note of the case. Trump tweeted an order that Gallagher be moved to less-restrictive pre-trial conditions, this after more than 50 members of Congress called for urgent attention to the case and implored investigations into how Navy is handling both the case and Gallagher’s treatment.
The Gallagher family has long been vocal about Eddie’s treatment in the brig, and also about the claims made against him. The family, as well as Rep. Duncan Hunter, has accused the Navy of lying to members of Congress and the White House. Gallagher’s defense team has also accused the prosecution and Naval Criminal Investigative Services (NCIS) of misconduct and withholding information in the case that would help Gallagher. The defense team has also pointed out “unlawful command influence” against Eddie.
Most recently, video footage from a helmet cam shows that Gallagher did not try to kill the captured, critically wounded ISIS fighter, but rather tried to provide medical treatment to him, according to the defense team and new reports.
Phillips had heard of Gallagher’s story before this, and he eventually went out to San Diego for a fundraiser, where he met with and talked to Andrea Gallagher, Eddie’s wife, and Sean Gallagher, Eddie’s brother.
“We started to unpack the story and build a timeline… The more I learned, the more frightening it became,” Phillips said.
He decided to begin to put together a documentary, with Sean, Andrea and Eddie’s permission.
While the original intention was to create a 3- to 4-minute video that would help raise money for the Gallaghers’ mounting legal fees, Phillips quickly realized there was more to this story than a few minutes could do justice.
“We’re going to do a full-blown documentary, so it can be captured in posterity. So other SEALs and Special Forces guys who are dealing with this at least have the background to know what’s happening to other folks. This is something we want everyone to have [for their knowledge],” he pointed out.
Phillips says Eddie Gallagher is not the only service member who has been in this situation before, and that there are many others out there.
“We want to be able to create some momentum around the truth,” he pointed out.
Phillips noted that Time For a Hero is not in any way paying for the documentary; absolutely none of the nonprofit’s funds from donors are going toward the film, he stressed. He and his crew are creating it entirely on their own time, as volunteers, and not being paid.
“None of us are paid. We just care about freedom and liberty, and the people who protect it for us, and that’s Eddie,” he added.
“When this injustice is exposed for what it is, every individual who had a part in this will have to account for what they have done to my husband and our family,” Andrea Gallagher told American Military News. “What has happened is un-American and a form of domestic terrorism that has been unleashed on our family, and we will fight to make sure this never happens to another military service member & their family again.”