Title: Saving Sandoval
Subtitle: A True Story
Author: Craig W. Drummond
Publisher: WildBlue Press
Release Date: July 26, 2017
Genre: Military History
Format: Print; Digital
Communications Director, WildBlue Press
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New Book Tells the Shocking Story of the Military Sniper Who Faced Murder Charges for Following Orders
DENVER. July 3, 2017: In 2007, U.S. Army Specialist Jorge G. Sandoval Jr. was charged with murder by the very government he had sworn to serve.
While deployed to the most dangerous area in Iraq known as the “Triangle of Death,” Sandoval, an airborne infantryman and elite sniper, was instructed to “take the shot” and kill an enemy insurgent wearing civilian clothes. Two weeks later, Army Criminal Investigation Command descended upon Sandoval’s unit and began interrogating the soldiers, trying to link Sandoval and others to war crimes, including murder.
Captain Craig W. Drummond was the JAG military defense attorney assigned to Sandoval’s case. “The case blew up and was closely followed by reporters around the world. After all, a soldier is trained to follow orders, not ask questions or second-guess authority. I knew I needed to prove his innocence or risk other soldiers being tried and convicted for simply doing their job.”
His new book details the entire trial, from Sandoval’s dramatic arrest to testimonies from key witnesses to his ultimate acquittal and retention in the U.S. Army. The trial itself took place in a U.S. military compound on the outskirts of Baghdad during the height of U.S. military surge of troops into Iraq. The book brings the reader into the reality of modern warfare in a post September 11th environment where the enemy does not always wear a uniform and if an event makes headlines military leaders are quick to point the blame on the lowest ranking soldiers regardless of the injustice. The fast-paced and detailed account of the investigation and trial testimony from elite Army snipers brings the reader into the courtroom and onto the battlefield of Iraq.
“It’s a story that I’m sure the government would like us all to forget,” said WildBlue Press Owner and New York Times Bestselling Author Steve Jackson. “Craig has done an outstanding job, both as an attorney fighting for a young soldier’s freedom, and documenting what happened.”
“Armed forces continue to operate in uncertain and complex environments and this story is an insightful and powerful look into the challenges and judgments faced by a young sniper deployed to the battlefield of Iraq.”–Brigadier General Jeffery L. Underhill, U.S. Army Retired, (Iraq Veteran)
“This book is a strong caution for all military commanders who would consider judging the warriors who run towards to sound of gunfire. Front-line actions should be judged from a front-line perspective, not for how those actions may play in the news.”–Dave Earp, former U.S. Navy SEAL Officer, USNA ‘97, BUDS Class #230, (Iraq and Afghanistan Veteran)
“Saving Sandoval gives an inside look at the scrutiny Soldiers face on the battlefield and the politics involved in modern day warfare.”–Major Chris Ophardt, U.S. Army, Public Affairs Officer to the Secretary of the Army, 2016-2017, (Iraq Veteran)
Saving Sandoval: A True Story by Craig W. Drummond releases from WildBlue Press on July 26, 2017. To arrange an interview with the author or receive a review copy of the book, please contact WildBlue Press at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Craig W. Drummond received his juris doctorate from Drake University and was a Captain in the US Army JAG Corps. While deployed to Iraq, he led the defense team for Specialist Jorge G. Sandoval Jr. He was awarded a Bronze Star for his service in a combat zone. The case received major media coverage from the New York Times, The Washington Post, and other outlets. Now an attorney in private practice, this is his first book.
WildBlue Press is the premier independent publisher of True Crime, Thrillers, and Suspense.
SAVING SANDOVAL: A True Story by Craig W. Drummond
978-1-942266-78-5 Trade Paperback ISBN
978-1-942266-75-4 eBook ISBN
Publisher: WildBlue Press
Publish Date: July 26, 2017
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Saving Sandoval is the true account of the defense of U.S. Army Specialist Jorge G. Sandoval, Jr.
In 2007, Sandoval, a 22-year-old infantry paratrooper, was deployed to the “Triangle of Death.” Located south of Baghdad in Iraq, the area was full of insurgents and uprisings, making it the most dangerous place in Iraq and arguably the world.
Sandoval’s unit began to take heavy casualties during the increased violence in the region. As the unit responded and regrouped from their heavy losses, Sandoval was reassigned from his regular infantry team to his unit’s most elite group—the sniper section. There, Sandoval was taught first-hand Army sniper tactics, techniques, and procedures.
On one of his first missions, Sandoval was guided by the sniper section leader, Staff Sergeant Hensley, who was the most experienced sniper in his unit. On that mission Sandoval was placed in the shooting position while Hensley served as his observer. Hensley’s role was to locate a target and then engage. Sandoval’s role was to take the shot.
Hensley spotted a man serving as a lookout for the enemy. This determination was made after communicating with other friendly units in the area who had come under attack. The man was in civilian clothing, posing as a farmer cutting grass. This was consistent with most of the insurgents and enemy in Iraq, who often wore civilian clothing and were not easily distinguishable from the civilians who resided in the nearby villages.
Given all of the information known at the time, Hensley directed Sandoval to take the shot. Sandoval complied.
Two weeks later, another member of Sandoval’s team shot a suspected insurgent at close range.
Rumors began to spread about the legitimacy of the actions made by the sniper section. Within days, Army Criminal Investigation Command descended upon the unit and began interrogating Soldiers, trying to link Sandoval and others to war crimes, including murder.
Eventually Sandoval faced a court-martial for murder for his first shooting as a sniper. Later another murder charge was added when it was determined that Sandoval had been in the same area in which the other shooting took place.
Saving Sandoval tells the story through the eyes of the men who lived it: Specialist Sandoval and his assigned military defense attorney, Captain Craig W. Drummond. The book quotes testimony from both the pretrial hearings and the trial itself, which took place in a makeshift courtroom on a U.S. military installation just outside of Baghdad. The Associated Press and reporters from around the world were present throughout the trial. The jury was comprised of senior military and enlisted officers, all of whom were then deployed to Iraq.
Highlights of the book include details about the dramatic arrest of Sandoval while home on leave in Laredo, Texas; notes about the initial hearings in the case (where many of Sandoval’s unit testified that he did not do anything wrong); details about sniper tactics and the war in Iraq from the individual soldier’s perspective; and the importance of the trial itself and its aftermath.
In the end, Sandoval was acquitted of nearly every charge and was retained in the Army by the military jury. This book is the story of his case, his ordeal, his trial, and the uncertainties of warfare in a post 9/11 world.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Craig W. Drummond received his juris doctorate from Drake University, and was a Captain in the US Army JAG Corps. While deployed to Iraq, he led the defense team for Specialist Jorge G. Sandoval. He was awarded a Bronze Star for his service overseas. The case received major media coverage from the New York Times, The Washington Post, and other outlets. Now an attorney in private practice, this is his first book.