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I just finished O'Niell's Book The Operator. IT's an autobiography of Rob O'Neill, the SEAL who killed Bin Laden. Incredible read! Those guys are stone cold killers! No remorse, no PTSD, seemed genuinely comfortable with killing bad guys. He talks about shooting guys in the face on several OPS wearing night vision. Bad guys didn't even know they were in the same room. His shot on Bin Laden was 3 Feet! I had no idea. Shot him 3 times in the head, split it open like a cantaloupe dropped on kitchen tile. They watched FOX news announce the killing of BinLaden and O'Neill looked down at this feet and there was BinLaden's corpse - they continued to eat Pizza. Said the CIA analyst that found BinLaden was a real bad ass too. Nothing like Jessica Chastain in the movie.
The book was great until the end. After O'Neill killed BinLaden his team turned on him and there was a lot of jealousy, envy and mistrust. It really bothered me after what these guys went through but I guess even SEALS aren't above basic human failings.
Anyone read it?
I didn't read it but I will.... The documentary I saw on it on TV interviewed other SEAL team members who said he should have shut up about it.....
Bear, I know that's the code. But who can blame the guy. This was no ordinary OP, and he was allowed to talk about it by the DOD. So he didn't break any rules from what I can see. Guy had been in for 15 years, multiple ops including the Somali Pirate incident and Lone Survivor. He almost bought it a few times himself, never talked about any of it before this.
I believe he's a Montana boy, and grew up hunting. That doesn't surprise me.
I'm glad he has spoken up about killing bin Laden. Otherwise I probably never would've believed he is dead.
He’s from Montana. Talks about hunting elk and Muley’s.
I'm glad he has spoken up about killing bin Laden. Otherwise I probably never would've believed he is dead. Ditto: But are you sure? I'm not o sure. I never saw a body and neither did anyone else. I did see a play and a braggert. God bless, Steve
I see him when he is on Fox from time to time... I need to find the book and read it .....
He is a regular on Fox and I have seen him talk about the night he shot Bin Laden and yep, he shot him in the face. I have seen him tell the whole story. He is on fox just about every day. He is a terrorist worse nightmare.
Part of the SEAL Creed is......I don't advertise the nature of my operations nor seek recognition..... I think that's probably what pisses off the other SEAL team members..... their creed and their trident and brotherhood is very important to them.... I searched for comments from Richard Marcinco on line but could find nothing..... I think he is still alive and should be about 77 years old...... He started SEAL Team 6............. I'll have to read the book too..... regardless if he violated the creed and pissed off the other SEALs..... Reading about Osama Bin Laden getting shot in the face should be a good read.....
Demo Dick Marcinco is hanging out in Virginia Beach with "Patches" Watson according to the scuttle butt.
It has to be tough for them to adjust to real life....or at least the semi mundane life most of us lead. I think that movie 'Hurt Locker' portrays that well.
I had a Green Beret working for me for a short time and it was obvious the guy was an adrenaline junky. Good guy...and though I wasn't into rifles went to the range a couple times with him- unbelievable rifle and pistol shot. He moved on to some foreign protection detail...much more exciting than construction.
Beendare, I’ve often wondered about that very same thing. How do those guys go from hunting and killing a high value target in Somalia to processing insurance claims back home. It must wreck your ability to lead a normal life.
It was a good read. I understand why his fellow SEALs were pissed but his story is fascinating nonetheless.
Pat, I think the short answer is- they have a hard time...and as you pointed out, it has nothing to do with PTSD....its the ultimate excitement. I know they don't like talking about it.
If you liked this book you will probably like "On Combat" by Christensen and Grossman...its a non fiction almost clinical study on combat warriors. Fascinating and in the top 5 books I've ever read.
Example, do you ever hear these warriors mention they crapped their pants? Its a fairly common [and normal] occurence for these warriors in high stress/heavy battle. ...but nobody ever talks about it. Your body recognizes its needs acute hearing, enhanced eyesight and fight or flight fast reflexes among other things ...but bowel control...don't need it! So your body devotes the resources to other senses.
We have a next door neighbor that is a 4 tour green beret and has some hair raising stories. Regular old Ms country boy and I think he enjoys the low key life he leads now. I do crossfit with a guy who is a purple heart recipient and leads a troubled boys camp. They are doing an all night ruck in a few weeks and making a real big deal out of it. I told my neighbor about it and he didn't find it interesting at all. Said he had done all the rucking he ever needed to do. My 8 year old daughter rides horses with him 4 evenings a week and needless to say......I don't worry about her safety at all. He works for the wild mustang program now.
the whole thing is f'd up. Nobody should know any of it. Obama should have never outed them for doing the mission. O'Neil should probably not have written about it.
I think it would have been better for the SEAL's overall, if he had stayed true to the code of silence. God bless him for his dedication and service.
During my 6 years stint in Navy, we usually deployed with or picked up enroute, a seal team or Marine Recon unit. They would board our frigate sometimes in foreign ports, be delivered by a helicopter or sometimes just be there in the morning, via submarine of course. I know that even back in the 80's, we spent quite a bit of west-pac time operating off of Korean waters. They may be aboard one day, then they would be gone. They were very quiet and even I missed seeing them come and go sometimes. They pretty much stuck to themselves and occupied one of the helo hangers when they were on board.
I think it was a lot better we didn't know the specifics of what these special operations do. It's just about SEAL everything now. For awhile, it seemed that everytime the SEALs did anything, there was a book written or show done. The ones you don't hear about anymore is MARSOC and SFOD (Delta). Those guys are still out in the weeds causing problems for the enemy, and doing it quietly. I beleive this is the way it should be.
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I'm pretty much a fanboy when it comes to the SEALs and our other SOF units. The Operator is a good read, though I will say I think there are some better reads when it comes to books written by SEALs. As far as recent releases, I enjoyed Rourke Denver's book Damn Few a lot more. When it comes to Bin Laden, I think I enjoyed No Easy Day a little more as well than The Operator. Brandon Webb has a few decent books out there as well if you want to pick-up some more good reads on the SEALs (The Red Circle is the one I liked the most).
With regards to the transition back into civilian life, the books do illustrate how hard that has to be (and reading about it does not do justice to actually going through it). Not only with respect to the excitement and adrenaline of the work these guys do that will never be replaced, there is also the element of brotherhood that few (if any) civilian jobs could ever match. Standing shoulder to shoulder with fellow warriors who are the most elite in the world, all of whom would lay down their life to protect their brothers, is something no desk job will ever replace. Listening to these guys talk it's clear there's a piece of them missing that they wish they could get back -- and I know a lot of it comes with age as well, knowing that your prime years are behind you and it's all downhill. That transition is an aspect of their lives that I never appreciated at all until I read and listened more -- it kind of amazes me that depression doesn't run higher amongst these guys. Some obviously seem to handle it all very well (not surprising amongst such an elite group of individuals), but some struggle and I'm sure all of them miss it to some degree.
If you guys really want to help some of them transition......go help my friend Scott Bill at the Brian Bill Foundation. That is what they do there and the guys they help are exactly the people you are talking about. I working with a close friend who is a military dog breeder to supply a PTSD dog to one of Scott's guys near where I live in the Midwest.
Beendare, I have a good friend that was a machine gunner from a helicopter in Viet Nam. He said the first time he strapped in on a night time mission they taped his pants legs at the bottom. He wanted to know what that was for. They told him to keep him from slipping and sliding in the poop that would run out of his pants legs. He said you can't imagine what is like to see the muzzle flashes from the jungle, knowing they are shooting at you.
Lex, I think Blue dog here has done a bit of the airborne thing back in VN. I may be wrong, but that is the impression I got.
I have very good friend that I used to work and hang around with a lot, he was on Six in the nineties... Multiple missions in places he could never talk about, and didn't! That's the Code, You Don't break it... Period! He told me once while we were enjoying a cocktail that the hardest and strangest and scariest thing to deal with is being "in harms way" doing what needs to be done one day... (Killing) regardless of who it is, or what age they are, or what sex they are, even if they are unarmed, but they may compromise the mission, so they are done, and then two days later be back in states walking down the street or at a picnic or whatever... TOTTAL MIND F^%#. Don't believe the hype, some of these warriors do suffer from PTSD, depression and even suicidal thoughts. Divorce rate in Special Ops is extremely high and nothing else really matters to them but the Teams! He had been divorced twice. He was and still is a very scary individual to be around at times, they have no fear, and almost no remorse that I can see, until years later. ... I have a few stories that most of you wouldn't believe.
They truly give all including their heart and maybe sometimes their soul for this country. They truly deserve our respect and support! God Bless Them All! They do things most men never could do, nor want to!
I read the book very good read and very raw! Surprised at all the detail in the book. Love the seal stories.