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SEAL of Honor: A Review
on May 5, 2010
SEAL of Honor is a compelling read chock full of lessons learned for military and civilian alike. It is a tearjerker from the very beginning and Gary Williams does an excellent job of capturing the duality of our everyday peaceful lives here in the United States and the exceptional heroism and harrowing tragedies that occur overseas. He does this by highlighting the daily rhythm of the families involved that remain relatively unchanged until the news seeping out of Afghanistan provides a clue that Michael Murphy might have been near the action. All of the key figures in the book had continued on their daily regimen, worried, certainly upset that warriors had been killed and wounded, but of course thinking it had to be someone else. Then, with the news that Michael was involved, the world stopped for his loving parents, fiancé, friends, peers, and extended family around the Long Island and the Naval Special Warfare communities. This book works on many levels. First, it is an evenhanded account of a young man's drive to become a Navy SEAL despite several other life path opportunities. Some men and women just want to serve their country and Michael Murphy was of that noble gene pool. Second, SEAL of Honor captures the agony of those on the home front as they pine for their loved ones in harm's way and pray that the government vehicle doesn't stop in front of their house and officers in full dress uniform don't appear on their doorstep. Importantly, SEAL of Honor is also a trove of leadership lessons that future generations of service men and women can read, debate, and study as they formulate their own unique leadership styles. As an author of thriller fiction I always study heroes, real life and fictional, and the best heroes are humble, selfless, hard working, and determined. Michael Murphy is a true American hero in the finest sense of the word. Williams artfully captures the legacy he leaves behind that will help educate and train young leaders in our country. Williams captures well Murphy's upbringing in the Patchogue and Long Island communities and how his family, friends, and community helped shape his character and values. SEAL of Honor is more than an account of a military action. Rather, it is an examination of one man's life, his maturation, his service, his combat experience, and the actions that led to Michael Murphy being awarded the Medal of Honor. SEAL of Honor should be on every leader's short list of must read books.
Reprinted from [...] with permission.
Brigadier General Anthony J. Tata (USA, Ret)