Over his 19-year career with the Navy SEALs, Special Operations Chief Edward "Eddie" Gallagher earned high honors for valor and leadership as a medic, sniper and explosives expert. But less than a year after Gallagher returned from his eighth deployment – fighting the Islamic State in Mosul, Iraq – he drew a different kind of attention from the Navy: he was charged with war crimes, among them premeditated murder. Gallagher's case goes to trial in May. He and his family have denied all charges.
When New York Times national correspondent Dave Philipps began reporting on Gallagher's case, he thought he might learn that Gallagher had suffered some kind of psychotic break as the result of numerous combat deployments over the course of nearly two decades. But what Philipps has found, through interviews and hundreds of pages of internal military documents, defied expectations. Joining on the line from Colorado Springs, Colorado, Philipps told On Second Thought that Gallagher's case reveals a Navy SEAL culture "split between loyalty and justice."
Georgia is home to hundreds of thousands of military veterans. The state also boasts tens of thousands of active duty and reserve personnel. Sometimes, those numbers come with four letters: PTSD or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
On Second Thought continued a conversation with New York Times reporter David Philipps about his investigative research on Navy Seals and war crimes. Liza Zwiebach also joined the conversation with her clinical expertise.
We hear stories about the sacrifices military spouses make. But the wife's perspective is rarely at the center. That's why playwright Aline Lathrop decided to highlight that angle in The Hero's Wife - a play that's showing at Synchronocity Theater in Atlanta. It's an intimate look at a couple dealing with the invisible wounds of combat.
Rebeca Robles plays Karyssa, the young wife of retired Navy SEAL Cameron, played by Joe Sykes. Rachel May directed the play. They all visited On Second Thought to talk about the production and the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, on family life.