Tribute to Navy SEAL Adam Brown. Amazing story of an inspiring man, his family and close friends who (with their help and many prayers along the way) saw him rise up and overcome incredible obstacles to reach the pinnacle of military service, becoming a member of the honorable DEVGRU (SEAL Team 6).
This book spans his life, from a daredevil 2 year old jumping 12 feet off his parents’ deck, and then laughingly doing it again even after receiving a spanking, to jumping from a speeding vehicle off a bridge (a la the movie “Navy SEALs”) when he was in high school, to overcoming an addiction to crack, no less, which turned his life upside down, ending with 11 felonies and time in jail. All of this before enlisting in the Navy.
With the devotion of his wife, Kelley, his parents, and his own relentless drive to succeed, he made it through challenges which would be insurmountable for most people, eventually mastering the skills needed to be included in Team 6–which is difficult enough for even the best SEALs, but he did it after losing the vision in his dominant eye and the feeling in his dominant hand. For a shooter, that should have been the end of his career, but he retrained his brain to work with what he had. His fellow SEALs say that achievement is remarkable and unprecedented.
Even if these types of books aren’t to your taste, this one is worth the read. It is less about showing off a macho personality (dare I say braggadocious?), and more about showcasing the true courage and determination it took for this guy to overcome a LOT of obstacles in his life. It also honors his wife, who helped him in endless ways, above and beyond even what most military spouses do, which is numerous. SEALs give up a lot, including a normal life with their families because they are gone more than they are home.
Even though they have the best military equipment available while they are on the job, they don’t make a lot of money, so their spouses really do have to find ways to support the family, even when they are the main caregivers of their children. I seriously don’t think he could have succeeded without his wife and her willingness to take on the complete management of their home, family, finances, supporting and tutoring him through school and training, as well as through his addiction and multitude of injuries, so that he could focus solely on his military ambitions.
Besides being known as an operator you could depend on, he was also known for his compassion for others. Stories from his childhood defending other kids against bullies to providing hundreds of pairs of shoes to Afghani children when he noticed they were either barefoot or wearing sandals when the snows were coming, it is said he always thought of others first.
Along with the tales of his great sense of humor, his code of honor which would not allow him to break a promise, and his daredevil antics, we get a chance to feel like we actually knew Adam Brown, and the sadness of his loss (on March 17, 2010) hits as hard as if he were truly our friend.
We also become acquainted with the SEALs interviewed by the author, friends and teammates of Adam Brown, who insisted they wanted Adam’s story told. They were part of the group who took down Osama bin Laden and then (seven of the 10 SEALs we meet) later were killed themselves when their helicopter was shot down on August 6, 2011, killing 30 U.S. forces and 7 Afghan soldiers. Heartbreaking loss of irreplaceable human beings, protectors of not just their fellow Americans, but of humanity.
Side note: I just discovered that Adam’s wife, Kelley Brown, has cofounded an organization which helps families of fallen soldiers called “Carry the Load”. More info here: http://www.carrytheload.org/site/PageServer?pagename=home