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A TRUE AMERICAN HERO!
on May 22, 2012
I was somewhat conflicted when I read the story of this hero. Having read many of the books published about Navy SEALs, one thing stands out, they all have an extreme focus on the end goal and make choices that move them closer to that goal. Adam Brown made some bad choices that had to be overcome. While any journey to wear a SEAL Trident takes a monumental effort, Adams journey is even more incredible with all the stumbling blocks he encountered.
Fearless is the obvious title for this book. Adam Brown became fearless by his deep belief in God, his wife, his family, and his team. You have to respect a person that would rather die than let down his team. That dedication shows when on the road to Kandahar their Humvee hit another vehicle and flipped multiple times. Adam severed the fingers of his right hand and they were hanging on with skin and tendons, but he completely disregarded that injury and went to work saving his teammate that had his leg crushed in the accident. Only when the Corpsman had his friend stabilized did he allow someone to tend to his injuries.
This book pays tribute to this hero. The author spoke with his childhood friends and family and in the first 80 pages outlined the story of a fun-loving kid. He was a kid who liked to push himself and loved dangerous feats, like jumping off of bridges into the river. He excelled at everything he attempted, and was on the path to do anything he wanted, when he made some bad choices and started using drugs. I have seen first-hand the damage that drugs like crack can do, so this story is even more amazing that he reached the top tier of the Navy SEALs while having to overcome the constant call of his crack addiction. While I did not like the person he was during his dark time with drugs, I did find myself pulling for him to succeed.
SEAL Team Six is the "best of the best" and a place where you have to be in the top 1% of a group that is already in the top 1% of the planet. You have to perform at incredibly high levels that most people, with fully functioning bodies and minds cannot achieve. Adam severed the fingers of his right hand, his shooting hand. He was injured in a training accident and lost sight in his right eye, his dominant shooting eye. He caved in his shinbone, had back problems, arthritis, walked around in constant pain all while fighting the urge to smoke crack, yet he still managed to overcome these issues, any one of which would disqualify a normal man, yet he still forged on.
Adam went to Sniper school, a school with a very high attrition rate, because only the best graduate from this incredibly tough school. Now many SEALs complete Sniper school, but Adam had to relearn how to shoot using his left hand and his left eye. That is unheard of.
All throughout this book you will be touched by Adam's generosity and his constant devotion to others. In Afghanistan he would never leave any checkpoint or observation post without helping fill sandbags or in some way fortifying the outpost. He would regularly give away his MREs to the local children and even organized his church to send kids sneakers when he realized that the local Afghan children had to wear open sandals during the harsh mountain winters. He was a man that always made the world a better place for others.
By the time I was halfway through this book I was increasingly saddened because I felt it unfair that a hero like Adam was going to die. But true to his character his life ended in a detailed battle where he never once stopped to think about himself, he just remained fearless while trying to protect and defend others.
His loyalty to his team was shown in their loyalty to him. When he was shot multiple times and badly wounded his teammates made heroic efforts to save him and get him to a hospital. Sadly, as we all know, he did not make it.
Adam touched a lot of people during his short life. He made a difference to many people. If a man is judged by the positive difference he makes in the lives of others, then Adam Brown truly is a hero.