I am a SEAL Team Six Warrior
Howard E. Wasdin
This was a really interesting book for me to read. I generally read fiction books, but this one is a nonfiction, a collection of memoirs from Howard Wasdin, an American Soldier who works his way through to be one of the elite warriors of SEAL Team Six. He covers a necessary amount of his childhood and rocky relationship with his parents, and the circumstances that led him to join the Navy. He talks about the different trainings that he went through in detail, and all of them sound terrible to me. He does things that most ordinary people could never do; that I know I could never do. Wasdin writes about all the preparation that he goes through to become a sniper on the Team he wanted to be on: Hell Week, SEAL Team Two, SEAL Team Six, and Marine Corps Scout Sniper School.
Early on, he remembers a mantra that the SEALs live by. “The more you sweat in peacetime, the less you bleed in war” (4). The SEALs are all about training. He talked about practicing during his free time or down time to get better at the things he felt he needed to. This tight knit group of SEALs working together formed bonds that were, admittedly to Wasdin, more important than his marriage, which always took a backseat to his job.
These memoirs cover a few different missions that Wasdin was present during, but much of it takes place in Mogadishu, Somalia. He recalls his own realization that the men he is fighting against are human, like him. “Whether you’re winning or losing, war is hell. It’s important to understand that our enemies are human” (60). I think war is often glamourized, in video games and such, and this book certainly shows the horrific sides of it. He said something else that really made me think, “Most Americans don’t realize how blessed we are – we need to be more thankful” (102). Compared to the lives he described in Somalia, we have it pretty good elsewhere and it makes me sad for people living in other countries under those terrible conditions.
One last quote I really liked was toward the end, when Wasdin was recounting the day he was injured multiple times and almost died in battle. “Anyone who says he wasn’t scared in combat is either an idiot or a liar. Everyone becomes scared. It’s a healthy fear. I’d never want to go into combat with someone who wasn’t a little afraid” (137).
I thought this was a really good book, very interesting with a lot of terrifying information. And it was cool to get a deep look into the training that the SEALs in particular go through. One issue I had with the book was the typos. I don’t usually even catch them when I’m reading, but I noticed quite a few in this that bothered me. However, that didn’t outweigh my liking for the book near enough to not recommend it. If you are interested in war, military, nonfiction in general, I think you will really enjoy this book.