A bit disturbing were the chapters about Mr. Wasdin’s childhood and the abuse he suffered by his stepfather. Mr. Wasdin credits that abuse with his current ability to withstand pain and his attention to detail, which I gather he truly believes.
I don’t want anyone who read this book to think that if you beat the living hell out of your child he’ll turn out to be a Navy SEAL or an elite warrior. Mr. Wasdin does make that point very clearly in the book, but I feel he didn’t make it strongly enough or often enough.
During my service I have met many people from the special forces including the most elite units and the one thing common to all was the simple fact that this is what they were born to do. You cannot learn or acquire the characteristics to become an elite warrior. You either have those qualities or you don’t. Of course you can hone your skills, find the hidden talents, sharpen them and practice to become better but you have to be born with them to begin with.
At the end of SEAL Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy Sniper there is a small section about the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, founded in 1980 as a college scholarship fund for children of special operations warriors who have been killed. Please take some time to visit them and make a donation if you can.
By the way, this book just happens to come out after the SEAL Team Six took out Bin-Laden. It was not rushed to print because of the operation. I thought this was an important point to make.