Running Title: Fearless – The undaunted courage and ultimate sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team Six operator Adam Brown.
On this Memorial Day as we remember those that have served this great nation, both fallen and present, I was compelled to put this review out for it is so symbolic of the many men and women that have served this nation and aside from their bravery and nobility, many serve as a source of inspiration.
We’ve all heard the story about the prodigal son. Whether you’re religious or not, most of us have encountered this or a variation of this story.
To sum it up.
Two sons, rich father. Youngest son decides he wants his inheritance today and he’s not waiting for daddy to kick the bucket. Son gets some serious dosh, spends it on fast women, mooching friends, and possibly a bit much blow (I’m guessing hashish … biblical times, you know). Son soon runs out of dosh, ends up fighting pigs and other farm animals for slop to eat. Eventually goes back home, expecting to grovel forever at his father’s feet but is instead welcomed with opened arms and his return celebrated for he was probably thought lost and possibly dead. And so ends my detour into a Sunday school lesson.
The problem about that story is that we never find out what happened to this prodigal son beyond the celebrated homecoming. For the most, the prodigal son story is sometimes used in context of those that have may fell off the righteous and promising path. The story of Navy SEAL operator Adam Brown is modern day version of the prodigal son, though I must add … a very inspiring one. Young, fearless and quite the daredevil, Mr. Brown seemed poised to conquer the future in whatever endeavours he chose. Somewhere along the way, an encounter with drugs lead Brown down a very dark spiraling path to oblivion. Despite this setback with the strong support of family, and a faithful girlfriend, Kelley (who eventually became his wife) he found his way back and enlisted in the Navy. Guided by his Christian faith and support by family, Adam found the strength to focus and pull through BUD/S training whilst still battling his inner demons and cravings of past but not so distant life. After making the SEALs, on top of battling the demons of the past, he had severely injured his “shooting” hand in a training accident and had to re-learn handling firearms with the other hand. Later on, he was involved in another accident that involved the partial blinding in one eye and leaving him dependent on one eye. And despite all his afflictions, Adam felt compelled to do the unthinkable: apply to SEAL Team Six. Getting into the SEALs is tough, getting into SEAL Team Six is tougher … and everyone (disabilities or not) all have to measure up to standard. Many SEALs with perfect eyes and hands have tried and did not make the cut, yet Mr. Brown with so many seeming setbacks was able to make SEAL Team Six. One of the many inspiring things you could ever read.
Now the book is littered with scriptural quotes from the Bible, and this may be “bothersome” to the so-called “enlightened” and “open-minded” folks out there. Whatever, mates. For the rest of us struggling sinners (such as yours truly) this was refreshing to read and it put a lot into perspective for us. What was interesting about Adam Brown was that he didn’t keep his faith to himself but even on the battlefield his faith manifested itself when he noticed the kids in Afghanistan were running around with no shoes and instead of writing home for a care package he requested that donations of children shoes be sent instead. Truly one of those moments where you had to pause your reading and go … “WOW”.
Like most SEAL biographies, the book has a nice collection of pictures of Brown and family and fellow teammates. One of the most touching photos you’ll encounter is the last photo Adam took with his family before deploying to what turned out to be his last mission. That one will get you bad, and it’s perfectly understandable if you find yourself tearing up. One of the most touching things (and there are many in this book) I encountered in this book was Adam Brown requesting that if they (his family) were to eulogize him that they should tell his full story … even the bad stuff. It never ceases to amaze me that the truly brave, extraordinary and exceptional among us are also the most humble and modest among us. In August, 2011, when the Chinook carrying his team was shot down, America lost a hero, and a gentleman. The prodigal son finally made it back home. Rest in peace, Adam Brown and may God bless the days of those you’ve left behind. Thanks mate.