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Posts Tagged ‘seal team six’

NoEasyDayCover

Running title: No Easy Day – The firsthand account of the mission that killed Osama Bin Laden

It is no secret that I am fascinated with the world of special operations, especially the world of the Navy SEALs. So after the world largest scumbag was dirtnapped and it was revealed that his appointment with Allah was made possible by SEAL Team 6, I must say that I was not surprised. I don’t say this to come off as some arrogant, know-it-all, wanker or such. I say it in the vein that I truly felt that if there was any military unit out there that could pull this off … let’s just say that the SEALs had my vote by a high measure. Anything else would have been a combination of SEALs and British SAS. Enough with the kissy-kissy.

With Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty (back in January) beckoning to me like a randy, saucy Siren to a marooned, undersexed sailor, I couldn’t wait to get my mits on this book (mostly to compare notes with the movie … and needless to say, it came pretty damn close). The book starts out with Mark Owen and his team enroute to the infamous compound that housed the world’s biggest asshole, along with the biggest stash of retro, dog-eared, printed porn. But very early enough, the book takes the scenic route as Mr. Owen invites us on his journey of becoming a SEAL to joining SEAL Team 6 (DEVGRU) … and eventually the historic mission. And it is quite a fascinating journey that most readers would feel quite honoured to be on.
Like most SEAL books that I’ve read, Mr. Owen talks about simply enjoying the simple things such as walk and feeling the grass beneath his feet, or taking a bite into a taco from Taco Bell after returning from a mission (a taste of home, civilization). Irrelevant to most, but it really captures the somber and serious tone of his job where every deployment could be your last and it was always wise to take time out to smell the roses (literally) … whenever he could. It is a sincere sentiment and Mr. Owen is no lesser for revealing this bit of vulnerability. In my honest opinion, it only confirms his noble and valiant nature. Now only if politicians could be this open, honest and honourable. As the book eventually makes its way to the historic mission, the reading becomes like a roller-coaster where you find yourself gripping the pages with pure anxiety, despite knowing the outcome, and every turn of the page becomes a bowel-clenching moment … in a good way (of course this doesn’t pan out too well when you’re stuck in mass transit with a loaded Hoover Dam type bladder).

In the end No Easy Day is what it set out to be: a no-nonsense account of what ACTUALLY happened on the mission (sans the usual hype, bollocks and other sensational blah-blah-blahs provided by external media types). On the other hand it is just another (well-earned) tribute to the lives of those valiant souls that do the extraordinary in view of most of us whilst in their eyes it just all part of the job. Just another day, where yesterday was an easy day. Though some may disagree with his politics (and this may subtly rear its head) it is still not hard to say “Thanks Mr. Owen and the rest of your mates in the SEALs that, to us, do the extraordinary”. Thanks and cheers, mate.

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fearlessbook

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.

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sealteamsix

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.

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Running Title: Lone Survivor – The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing And The Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10

In view of the recent demise of the Earth’s #1 tosser, wanker, scumbag and turdkicking jackass, I just felt that I had trot this review out.

Lone Survivor is a harrowing story of bravery, nobility and tragedy that pulls at the heartstrings and keeps you on an emotional roller-coaster. It is the recount of an ill-fated Navy SEAL mission that occurred in Afghanistan in the earlier part of the war on terror. Retold by Marcus Lutrell, the only survivor of this mission, the reader is given a tour from from his humble beginnings to his training for entrance into the SEALS to his deployment into Afghanistan and the harrowing ordeal of the mission. It is quite the read that pulls you in and gives you a deeper appreciation for what these chaps do for their country and fellow countrymen. In several reviews I’ve encountered, concerning this book, some folks feel that Mr. Luttrell do seem full of himself as he indulges in a lot of self-inflicted backpattings and the such. I, on the other hand, disagree. Considering that this is a nation that rewards complete twits for “singing” nonsensical bollocks about how much cars they have, women they did and bling that they where … I find such gripes directed towards Mr. Luttrell is bloody laughable. Let’s face it, here is someone that VOLUNTEERED to endure viciously, rigorous training to become part of military unit that is OFTEN called upon to go off to godforsaken hellpits of the world and basically put their life on the line … and oh yes, they don’t paid millions or get a bloody clothesline. Aye, I’m guessing Mr. Luttrell has not only earned the right to toot his horn but to toot it from the mountain tops if he bloody well pleases. It seems I have detoured. Haven’t I? Let’s return, shall we.
In the center of the book there are series of pictures, some black and white and some color, of Lutrell and his former SEAL buddies. In a sense, this book is also a tribute to his fallen mates (one was from New York). As I read the book, every time their names were mentioned I often found myself going back to that center of the book to look at the person’s picture. I think doing this brought even more home to me and tore at my heartstrings. Especially when you read how a noble (yet tactically unsound) decision to protect “innocent” lives, instead of preserving their stealth, basically backfired and cost these men their lives. I say innocent in quotes because it makes you seethe in rage when you wonder how many of these tossers that got spared came back with Al-Qaeda and Taliban nutsacks to destroy the very hands that spared them. At certain points, the story reads like a movie where you’re expecting the calvary to come and save them. But real life is not like the movies and in the real world, sometimes the calvary themselves get hurt or destroyed in the process … which just makes this story even more heartshredding. Mr. Lutrell’s story is one of many that needs to be told, an eye-opener and a very appreciative view of the men that serve as Navy SEALS. On a few occasions, however, Mr. Lutrell veers off course to lash out at the “liberal media” and this is not only distracting but annoying. The cry of the so-called bloody “liberal media” is usually the war cry of tosser bloggers and wanks on the camera who think too bloody highly of themselves. Mr. Luttrell is so much more and is bigger than this, to reduce himself to the level of these twits. Something I once saw on the bumper of Bronco, complete with gunracks, in Florida: The Media Is As Liberal As The Conservatives That Own It. Thankfully he is subtle and conservative in his rants against the “liberal media” and stays on course with his story of tragedy and tribute. It is a sobering read, and unless you have the emotional content of stone, it is enough to make you at most shed a tear to the least, give a silent salute to these chaps that gave so much.

Thank you Mr. Luttrell and all the chaps that serve in the SEALs for your service. God Bless and rest in sweet peace, Mr. Michael Murphy, you brave soul.

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