CPT Tyler Merritt, USA, Ret.
CEO, Nine Line Apparel
As American citizens, we are all entitled to numerous rights while awaiting trial for a crime of which we are accused. These rights include: adequate medical care, access to legal representation, and, perhaps the most important and most profound, the assertion of innocence until proven guilty. Today, an American soldier - a 19 year veteran of the United States Navy - is being denied these lawfully given, Constitutionally ordained freedoms, while the media is allowed to deface his name, his face, and his character for the sake of public scorn and disregard for the harsh realities of a soldier’s life at war.
Chief Special Warfare Operator Edward Gallagher has been accused of the premeditated murder of an ISIS detainee. Said detainee was identified as an ISIS fighter, a threat to the lives of American soldiers.
Military law prevents basic access to American civil rights for enlisted soldiers being held in custody. As an Army veteran myself, I am personally disgusted with the way that this decorated Navy veteran is being treated. I, too, have seen the horrors of war. I have witnessed the sadistic nature that our enemies embrace, I have witnessed the atrocities that they inflict upon our enlisted men and women, and I have seen the injustices that military men and women have suffered because they took an oath to serve our great nation. America is a country of justice, of freedom from prejudice and mistreatment, and this man, this veteran of the United States Armed Forces, is being denied these basic rights, all because of a liberal prerogative to defame the brave men and women who put their lives on the line every day in service to our country.
Like Chief Gallagher, I have a wife and children who have personally sacrificed, in appreciation and recognition of my service to this nation. I, too, have been faced with tough decisions in the midst of gunfire and warfare. I, too, came home to my family, dealing with my experiences, and doing everything I could to return to a normal life. Now, Chief Gallagher’s freedom and chance at a normal American existence, have been stripped away, his sons forced to witness their father’s arrest and public humiliation, his wife condemned to ridicule and scrutiny while continuing to defend her husband’s honor and dignity.
Chief Gallagher has now been imprisoned for over 6 months awaiting trial for the alleged crimes of which he is accused. He is being denied adequate medical and mental health care, in addition to sufficient access to his legal team. Chief Gallagher has suffered traumatic brain injuries during his service, requiring frequent medical attention. During his detainment, he has been denied medical treatment, showers, and even held in solitary confinement for days at a time. His defense team has been denied the calling of witnesses due to governmental regulations regarding military confidentiality, resulting in a biased and unbalanced case against him.
Chief Gallagher is a decorated veteran of the American Armed Forces, awarded two Bronze Stars and a special Navy/Marine Corps commendation for his actions in combat overseas. He dedicated his life to preserving our nation’s freedom. The least we can do is offer the same in return.
As the CEO of Nine Line Apparel, a proudly patriotic, veteran owned company, I am committed to defending Chief Gallagher. We will provide whatever support we can as the case continues to develop against him, and no matter what, we’ve got his six. I am proud to stand behind this man as a brother in arms, a man who has given so much, in service to our nation.