On time, I sabotaged an entire mission to see Robin Williams live. We were on a mounted patrol from Imam Ali Air Base all the way to Joint Base Balad. It’s about 300 miles, and takes 18 hours if you don’t run into any problems. Halfway through, we had to stop and refuel in Camp Liberty. While we were there, we found out Robin Williams was putting on a free show that night.
My gunner and I went back to our truck, and blew as many fuses as we could. We convinced another crew to do the same, and when it was time to roll out… oops. Two trucks are down and nobody knows why. Long story short, we got to URON in Camp Liberty. That’s an “Unscheduled Remain Over Night,” while the mechanics tried to figure out what was wrong with our trucks.
He was hilarious. It was nothing but adults, so the Disney-rated jokes were out the window, and it was amazing adult humor. He gave an amazing show, and afterwards even hung out with everyone, shaking hands and giving hugs, and drinking non-alcoholic beer. I’ll never forget his closing remarks, though. At the end of the show, he turned a joke into a serious moment to talk about suicide. A lot of soldiers had been killing themselves recently, so he reached out, encouraging people to not be ashamed if they were sad.
He said that he knows everyone sees him as a clown, but clowns just paint smiles over their frowns. He said that sometimes, even the best smiles can’t hide the painted tears, and there’s no shame in trying to hide your sadness. He really understood what it felt like to carry depression, and now it makes more sense.
I haven’t thought about Robin Williams in years. Now, selfishly, and too late… I wish I had. He was a great man who genuinely just wanted to save people from sadness.
Among the many SEALs killed in the August 6, 2011 RPG attack on their Chinook helicopter. Navy SEALs Kevin Houston and John “Jet Li” Douangdara with his working Belgian Malinois, Bart.
The following Sailors assigned to an East Coast-based Naval Special Warfare unit were killed:
LCDR (SEAL) Jonas B. Kelsall, 32
Special Warfare Operator Master Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Louis J. Langlais, 44
Special Warfare Operator Senior Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Thomas A. Ratzlaff, 34
Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician Senior Chief Petty Officer (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist) Kraig M. Vickers, 36
Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Brian R. Bill, 31
Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) John W. Faas, 31
Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Kevin A. Houston, 35
Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Matthew D. Mason, 37
Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Stephen M. Mills, 35
Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician Chief Petty Officer (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist/Diver) Nicholas H. Null, 30
Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Robert J. Reeves, 32
Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Heath M. Robinson, 34
Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Darrik C. Benson, 28
Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL/Parachutist) Christopher G. Campbell, 36
Information Systems Technician Petty Officer 1st Class (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist) Jared W. Day, 28
Master-at-Arms Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL/Expeditionary Warfare Specialist) John Douangdara, 26
Cryptologist Technician (Collection) Petty Officer 1st Class (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist) Michael J. Strange, 25
Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL/Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist) Jon T. Tumilson, 35
Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Aaron C. Vaughn, 30
Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Jason R. Workman, 32
The following sailors assigned to a West Coast-based Naval Special Warfare unit were killed:
Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Jesse D. Pittman, 27
Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 2nd Class (SEAL) Nicholas P. Spehar, 24
The Soldiers killed were:
Chief Warrant Officer David R. Carter, 47. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), Aurora, Colo.
Chief Warrant Officer Bryan J. Nichols, 31. He was assigned to the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), New Century, Kan.
Sgt. Patrick D. Hamburger, 30. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), Grand Island, Neb.
Sgt. Alexander J. Bennett, 24. He was assigned to the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), New Century, Kan.
Spc. Spencer C. Duncan, 21. He was assigned to the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), New Century, Kan.
The Airmen killed were:
Tech. Sgt. John W. Brown, (Pararescueman) 33
Staff Sgt. Andrew W. Harvell, (Combat Controller) 26
Tech. Sgt. Daniel L. Zerbe, (Pararescueman) 28
All three Airmen were assigned to the 24th Special Tactics Squadron, Pope Field, N.C.
"…In a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
- President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address
God bless all the teammates, families, and friends left behind.
I’ve been to Great Lakes for training, but I can assure you… It wasn’t me that you saw.
Well first one would have to become a SEAL… and then the option is there for becoming a medic. Some people need a huge headstart before attempting 18D (Google it)… some don’t. It all depends on your learning abilities and how bad you want it. Learning and memorizing as much as you can about anatomy before leaving for bootcamp is a huge boost, so I’ve heard from a great SEAL Medic. A lot of the civilian EMT stuff doesn’t align with combat medicine so if you get certifications on the civilian side just expect some differences once you get to things like TCCC / TC3 (Tactical Combat Casualty Care).
Message me for the link to my new blog.
Kilo Jericho Sierra… Secured!
Lt. Cmdr. Erik S. Kristensen (SEAL)
Maj. Stephen C. Reich
Lt. Michael M. McGreevy Jr. (SEAL)
Lt. Michael P. Murphy (SEAL)
Chief Warrant Officer Corey J. Goodnature
Chief Warrant Officer Chris J. Scherkenbach
Master Sgt. James W. Ponder III
Senior Chief Information Systems Technician (SEAL) Daniel R. Healy
Chief Fire Controlman (SEAL) Jacques J. Fontan
Sgt. 1st Class Marcus V. Muralles
Sgt. 1st Class Michael L. Russell
Electronics Technician 1st Class (SEAL) Jeffery A. Lucas
Hospital Corpsman 1st Class (SEAL) Jeffery S. Taylor
Staff Sgt. Shamus O. Goare
Sonar Technician (Surface) 2nd Class (SEAL) Matthew G. Axelson
Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class (SEAL) Danny P. Dietz
Sgt. Kip A. Jacoby
Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class (SEAL) Eric S. Patton
Quartermaster 2nd Class (SEAL) James Suh
Requiescat In Pace
If it doesn’t challenge you everyday, it’s not hard enough.
Now all they must do is fly and they will have conquered the world
Plenty have done it in the past, but policies have changed with the times. If you’re serious about doing either one, get with a Navy recruiter and an NSO/NSW Scout. They’ll lay out all the details for you. By the time you’re PSTing well enough to earn a contract they will have given you enough information for you to make a solid decision. Once you’re PSTing, ask to speak with the SEAL Chief in charge of your recruiting district.
The internet is full of bullshit on this topic. Don’t even bother looking it up. Bunch of Call of Duty couch potatoes posing as experts… lol.
I’m not a teamguy yet. With this latest obstacle, he may even be closer to it than I am. I will overcome all challenges though.
- Teamwork, teamwork, teamwork! Submit to the team lifestyle and everything will go much smoother. You’ve decided to go this route of becoming a part of something that is greater than you and means more than your individual life. Don’t halfass it! Team first, all the time, every time. You’ll see some guys prior to the awesome filter that is BUD/S who are set on the opposite. Don’t let their ways poison yours. They’ll ring out soon enough.
- Train to have the best PST scores, not just competitive ones.
- Train at least as hard in mental toughness as you do in physical fitness. (Don’t ever let anyone tell you it isn’t something that can be learned or built up like a muscle.)
- Learn the history of NSW. Learn what’s publicly available about past operations and fallen heroes throughout the entire SOF community. Get out and participate in or volunteer for events that support fundraisers associated with fallen heroes or active SOF. You don’t have to be in the brotherhood to support it in some way. Learning about past ops and fallen SOF heroes will lead you to those events.
- Get on SEALSWCC.com and just learn for a while before you post anything. Just about anything you could need to know has already been answered on there so don’t be that FNG. No trolling.
- Learn the chain-of-command structure and General Orders of a Sentry BEFORE you get to bootcamp. They’ll give you a guide when you earn your contract then you’ll have plenty of time between the signing and leaving for bootcamp to MEMORIZE IT COVER TO COVER.
- Memorize the oath of enlistment before you swear in. Soak that up and the many proud traditions you’ll encounter long before joining the Teams. It’ll make earning your place in the brotherhood that much more special.
- Work on just that; earning your place in the brotherhood. Constantly try to understand more of what that means. That’s definitely been the most enjoyable part for me.
- Read my first point again and let it hit home. Feel that shit in your soul & bones, brother.
500 meter swim: Under 8:00
Situps (2 minute limit): 120+
Pullups (2 minute limit): 35+
Pushups (2 minute limit): 120+
1.5 mile run: Under 9:00
4 mile run: Under 27 minutes
100+ four count flutter kicks with rocket fins on (That’s 100 proper flutter kicks. I hate shitty form with any exercise.)