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Everyday Heroes: SEAL Team 6

September 3, 2011

As in all of my messages about heroism, I use the title Everyday Heroes. I don’t use the word “Everyday” to in any way diminish the accomplishments of the heroes about whom I write, but rather to emphasize the grandeur of their accomplishments. For these heroes are just like us: Hometown men and women who come from families much like our own. They have lovers and friends. Some have children. But all have abiding qualities that make them do heroic things. In the instance of our military members, they have a love of country so grand it transcends politics, economics, and even religion. And they have a love for their mates so profound it won’t allow them to let those mates down.

SEAL Team 6 is a classic example of what Everyday Heroes are all about. Men who come from towns all over America, who went to school, had paper routes, played on sports teams, attended dances, and hung out at hamburger joints. Kids who started with a base of bravado, brains, and courage, and then let the Navy build on that base through perhaps the most intense training ever imposed on young men.

Twenty-three highly-trained men prepared for months for a mission that was more about a moral victory than just taking down an internationally known psychopath. Twenty-three men who couldn’t know everything waiting for them at a compound in Pakistan. Twenty-three men who knew they were flying into the mouth of danger, not realizing that one of their own aircraft would crash on the way to the target. Twenty-three men who had to feel fear – fear for themselves, for their mates, and for the families they might leave behind should they not survive. And yet they did what they were ordered to do, despite the fears and unknowns.

Then, on August 6, …. men from the same elite SEAL team 6, along with other Americans – 30 in all, plus eight Afghani Special Ops personnel – died while on a rescue mission in the Tangi Valley south of Kabul. They were on their way to help fellow Americans and lost their lives doing what Everyday Heroes do: Sacrifice.

We look to the President, other government officials, and business leaders to guide us through the current economic maelstrom, as though these individuals are the most important influences in our lives. But they are merely ephemeral hitchhikers on our life’s journey. It is the Everyday Heroes like the members of SEAL Team 6 who are really important. It is the character of men like these that form the true foundation for our country’s exceptionalism. It is men like these who write a check every day in the currency of their own flesh and blood. It is men like these who give us all something important to believe in. It is men like these who remind us that we all can be heroes, every day.

Joseph Badal is the author of The Pythagorean Solution, Terror CellThe Nostradamus Secret and Evil Deeds.

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16 Comments leave one →
  1. September 4, 2011 10:24 pm

    Another wonderful, insightful piece, Joe. Thank you for bringing attention to our BEST role models. Any young person who choses these fine men to be their inspiration will be far ahead of the rest of the followers of most of todays celebrities. Keep up the good work singing the praises of our men and women in uniform.

  2. September 5, 2011 9:59 pm

    Thanks for applauding the men and women who keep this country safe. I’ll be back to read more when it isn’t so late.

  3. Wolf permalink
    September 6, 2011 9:18 am

    A firm belief that self is not the center of the universe and there is a duty to others that supersedes natural feelings of self-preservation is the foundation from which these types of heroic actions spring. Whether it be spouse, family or country, believing that these others can greatly benefit from your own personal sacrifice makes heroism as natural for such a person as it is for a salmon to swim upstream–perpetuating life and dying in the process. Am I too cynical in stating that I see virtually none of this sense of duty in our current political and social climates? Has pop culture so overrun our society that these acts of bravery no longer serve as inspiration for others? Or am I just getting old and cranky?

    • September 6, 2011 6:52 pm

      All good questions. I hear you. Thanks for the thoughtful comments.

    • December 25, 2011 3:41 pm

      Cynicism is beoming more widespread in our society as we see people in high-placed positions commiting crimes and not having to face any punishment. More and more, bribery, and “knowing the right people” are letting law-breakers avoid any penalties for their illegan deeds.

      This attitude spreads to all levels of society. We laugh at the late-night comedians who joke at that type of behavior and the younger generation sees avoiding penalties as “:cool’.
      This is society as a whole, society on display; a society where people feel intimidated when they are not accepted by or part of the “in” group.

      Courage, however,is still applauded, even in cleary decadent societies such as the late Roman Empire. Though the word “Duty” may be derided in a society where the lawmakers are seen as dishonest, where money buys the seats in our chambers of law-making, there is still a core respect for the fundamental virtues. A person who is willing to sacrifice their life for the life of others is still held in respect. Protection of the weak by the strong was
      expected by our remotest of ancestors – it is still respected now.

      Perhaps if more instances of virtue were brought to light and applauded and more breakers of the law were made public and forced to pay back or make some kind of atonement, this trend might fade away. We live in an age where publicity rules. Let it rule for the good in human nature!

  4. Nancy collins permalink
    September 12, 2011 9:57 am

    I really enjoyed your book terror cell and will be sure to read the others.

  5. September 12, 2011 4:25 pm

    I thank God for the brave men and women of our military. Great post. Thanks for sharing.

  6. September 13, 2011 8:18 am

    The selflessness of others is the contributing factor that allows us to live our ‘everyday’ existence. We’re blessed to call these heros our friends, neighbors, and loved ones. Great article!

  7. October 4, 2011 12:18 pm

    Excellent thoughts. I took a quick look at your book Terror Cell–available as an e-book?

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