Running title: SEAL Team Six – Memoirs of An Elite Navy SEAL Sniper
This review is LONG overdue. So here it is.
Getting into the SEALs is tough. Doable but tough. Only the best of the best make it. But getting into the SEAL team 6, is even tougher because only the best of the best of best get in. Standards, after all, must be kept. And this is precisely why the Navy SEALs is one the most formidable elite military units on this planet. Aye, I said it. On this planet. In view of the recent passing of a certain miserable piece of crap talked a lot of smack from caves and toss off to occasional porn in Pakistani suburbs, the SEALs have gained prominence in the headlines … and the minds of adventurous teenagers. And the occasional adult that regrets not having served in the military. Not going to name names.
Meet Mr. Howard Wasdin. Not only did he make the SEALs, but he made SEAL team 6 and as a sniper. In all my readings and studies and talks (with actual servicemen) about the military, the proficiency and standards for snipers, in most branches, are very high. I suspect the standards in the likes of SEAL team 6 are lot higher than most branches. In his book, Mr. Wasdin takes us through his somewhat “turbulent” childhood on his way through BUDS training to his time in the SEALs. All riveting, sometimes unnerving and, dare I say, very inspiring. And then there are those surprising moments. In his cringe worthy details of his time in Somalia doing reconnaissance, just before the Black Hawk down incident, there is memorable mention of humanity at the risk of tactical compromise. It is about him smelling a foul odour in the air which turned out to be the wounded, rotting wound of young Somali boy that was forced to sleep outside on the porch because his OWN family couldn’t stand the smell. So what’s an elite sniper with a heart to do? Breaking tactical protocols, they donned masks, break into the family’s house flexi-cuffed and blindfolded the family and then proceeded to … treat the boy of his wounds. It is a touching moment in the book, and is contrary to the Hollywood tendencies to portray Special Forces operators as war-loving, emotionless, cowboys. As was discovered in the Lutrell’s Lone Survivor, many of these valiant men choose their humanity when it is needed over tactical protocols to save lives even though sometimes the lives they save may be the very one that may betray them. It is indeed commendable and quite noble. And this is why these men are indeed the best of the best of America. Great book. Fascinating and riveting read. Makes you appreciate what these chaps do for their fellow countrymen. Thanks for your service, Mr. Wasdin. God Bless you and yours.