Tuesday, April 14, 2009

"Superman is the Man of Steel..."

...but he ain't no match for a Navy SEAL.

As a teenager, I wanted to write spy fiction, to create a character as loved as James Bond, and somewhere along the line I decided he should be a Navy SEAL, framed for a crime he didn't commit, who faked his death and became a spy...

And then I read about "Mr. Clark," Tom Clancy's former Navy SEAL-turned-spook, and decided to shelve my guy for good. Of course, if I didn't enjoy writing those first stories, I wouldn't be writing now, but I'm embarrassed to even mention my character's name.

What I don't regret is my research into the SEALs. They are not the mavericks of much fiction. Teamwork is at the heart of SEAL training. The precise work of small squads sets "SpecWarriors" apart from conventional forces. They guard against and regret wasting even one bullet.

When I heard "Navy snipers" had rescued Capt. Richard Phillips, I soberly reported the news to extended family over for Easter. While they cheered, as I'm sure many Americans have, I imagined the SEALs' mindset and doubted they took any joy in having to use deadly force.

I salute them.

1 comment:

Graham Powell said...

Apparently the rescue was not a planned assault. The snipers saw a pirate point a gun at their hostage and BANGBANGBANG, it was all over.

Only 25 yards, but from a moving platform to a moving target. I wish we didn't need guys like these, but since we do, I'm glad we have them.