The Navy Seals are one of my favorite subjects to read about, hear about and talk about. I admire this group of men more than words can express. I’m reading a book now by Marcus Lutrell – “LONE SURVIVOR-THE EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT OF OPERATION REDWING AND THE LOST HEROES OF SEAL TEAM 10.” Following are some excerpts from the book that will make my point.
I think dad always wanted us to be navy SEALs. He was forever telling us about those elite warriors, the stuff they did and what they stood for. In his opinion, they were all that is best in the American male – courage, patriotism, strength, determination, refusal to accept defeat, brains, expertise in all that they did. All through our young lives he told us about those guys.
I understood the brutality of the training, the level of fitness required, and the need for super skills in the water. I thought I would be able to handle that. Dad had told us of the importance of marksmanship, and I knew I could do that.
Seals need to be at home in rough country, able to survive, live in the jungle if necessary.
The work is brutally hard, the fitness regimes are as harsh and uncompromising as any program in the free world. The examinations are searching and difficult. Nothing but the highest possible standard is acceptable in the SEAL teams.
And perhaps above all, your character is under a microscope at all times; instructors, teachers, senior chiefs, and officers are always watching for the character flaw, the weakness which may one day lead to the compromise of your teammates. We can’t stand that. We can stand almost anything, except that.
In that first week, while we were trying to avoid freezing to death, they instilled in us three words which have been with me ever since. Honor, Courage, Commitment, the motto of the US Navy, the core values that immediately became the ideals we all lived by.
During hell week we were kept up 20 hours a day and running, doing pushups and situps, being told to get wet and dirty (run into the water and then roll in the sand), yelled at, and traumatized in every way possible. By 0600, I had counted out more than 450 pushups. And there were more, I just couldn’t count anymore. I’d also done more than 50 sit-ups. We were ordered from one exercise to another. Guys who were judged to be slacking were ordered to throw in a set of flutter kicks.
I was just about dead on my feet. I didn’t think I had the energy to chew a soft-boiled egg. We walked into that chow hall wet, bedraggled, exhausted, out of breath, too hungry to eat, too battered to care.
Then instructor Burns called us to order and said, “Gentlemen, for the rest of your lives there will be setbacks. But they won’t affect you like they will affect other people, because you have done something very few are ever called upon to achieve. This week (hell week) will live with you for all your lives. Not one of you will ever forget it. And it means one thing above all else. If you can take Hell Week and beat it, you can do any thing in the world.”
SEALS are trained mainly physically, mentally, morally and emotionally. Moms are called upon to use all their wits spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically. There’s a large overlap between what is exacted of SEALS and what is exacted of moms. Moms are called upon to multi-task, organize, cook, clean, sew, chauffeur, nurse, do laundry and through it all to love, nurture, reassure, comfort and teach values. Moms have a hell week on a fairly regular basis: sickness with its attendant rescheduling of the routine, cleaning up after some sicknesses, which brings on extra fatigue. Every holiday brings on new challenges, especially Thanksgiving/Christmas. Every vacation brings on her duties as ‘cruise director.’ The first day of school demands all kinds of preparation. There are aging parents and teenagers leaving the nest which takes extra “everything she’s got.” Let’s not forget she has a husband who would like to spend some time with her, and she with him. This further refines all her skills to be with him mentally and socially and not just sit there- on their date- in a complete stupor.
I have known women who have gone through all this and they are SEAL WOMEN !!!! They are refined, intelligent, kind, fun, talented and surrounded by family and friends who adore and honor them.
I think we can safely say that SEALS AND MOMS have the motto – HONOR, COURAGE, COMMITMENT.